The FCC has released its Public Notice announcing the procedures for submitting Annual Regulatory Fees. These annual fees are paid by broadcasters and other entities that are regulated by the FCC, essentially for the privilege of being regulated. We detailed the amount of the fees for broadcasters in our post, here. Regulatory Fees can already be submitted to the FCC through its on-line filing system or on paper, and some broadcasters have already done so as the Commission’s alerts about the specific fees that each station owes were mailed to broadcasters in the last two weeks (minus the information as to the final filing date). If your station has not received such a notice, check the mailing address that the FCC has on file for your station, as it may not be accurate. Today’s Public Notice sets the deadline date for the filing of regulatory fees as September 25.
The payment of regulatory fees is very important, as the failure to pay on time can cause the FCC to impose a "red light" on a licensee – blocking the processing of any application by the licensee. In fact, in the last few weeks, the FCC has been sending out delinquency notices to licensees claiming that past regulatory fees have not been paid. We are finding a significant number of these notices are being sent in error, so watch you mailbox carefully and, if you receive a notice that you failed to pay your regulatory fees for past years, and you did in fact do so, get that discrepancy corrected as quickly as possible to avoid the perceived failure from blocking any application that your station may want to file at anytime in the future. And don’t forget to get this year’s fees on file by September 25 to avoid late-fees and potential red-light issues.