The cash registers are opened for business at the FCC’s 2010 Reg Fee Extravaganza. The lines form to the left.

On Friday, August 6 (or possibly sometime late the day before), the Fee Filer site started displaying 2010 reg fees. There was an administrative lag between the FCC’s announcement of the deadline for this year’s reg fees and when you could actually pay them. Suffice it to say, you can pay them now. 

If you’re the adventurous sort and have confidence that by starting early enough and showing an adequate grasp of basic Internet skills, you will for sure avoid the 25% late fee payment that comes when you don’t get in the door with your fee by 11:59 p.m., Eastern time, on August 31, go to the Fee Filer page, enter the licensee’s FRN and password, and knock yourself out. If you would like help, call us.

Note that the Commission has provided a handy-dandy “Look-up Website” for Media Services Licensees. It not only lets you check what fees you owe, but it also lets you see whether or not the FCC’s records reflect that you’re exempt from paying anything. Generally, all non-profit entities (even those that happen to operate commercial broadcast stations) are exempt. 

Interestingly, if you think you’re exempt but the “Look-up Website” says otherwise, there is no way you can straighten that out online. In previous years, it was possible to claim an exemption with a couple of clicks. No more. Now you are required to email or fax documentation establishing your exemption to the Commission. (Appropriate documentation could include “a copy of your IRS determination letter showing your IRS section 501(c) tax exemption status, or state or government certifications, or proof of your station’s noncommercial educational (NCE) broadcast status at the FCC.”)

Remember, the fact that the fees are due by August 31 simply means that you will be able to enjoy that long Labor Day weekend with peace of mind.

Good luck.