Get out your calendars . . . and your checkbooks! The Commission has announced the deadline for filing this year’s regulatory fees. And that deadline is (drum roll, please): 11:59 p.m. ET on September 14, 2011. (Ahem — that would be the date our colleague Davina Sashkin predicted in her post a couple of days ago . . . not that we’re looking for any credit or anything just because she had it right.) As Davina reported there, the payment window opened as of August 12, 2011 (when the Fee Filer system started accepting reg fee payments), for those of you who want to (a) avoid any last-minute rush, and thereby also (b) avoid the 25% late fee that gets tacked on for folks who miss the deadline. Of course, the 2011 reg fees (formally announced last month) won’t technically become “effective” until September 9, since the order establishing those fees didn’t make it into the Federal Register until August 10. But it appears that the FCC isn’t going to let its knickers get wadded up about that kind of hyper-technical detail when cash coming into the Commission’s coffers is involved.
As we have previously cautioned, the Commission has stopped sending out any hard copy “pre-bills” to remind you that reg fees are due. If you want to know what the Commission thinks you owe, there’s a handy feature in Fee Filer that should give you the information that would, in the olden days, have been included in the “pre-bill”. But as we have also previously cautioned, heads up there – the Commission has been known to make mistakes, so “trust but verify” should be the order of the day. And in that vein, let’s not forget that the Commission does NOT routinely include the fees for auxiliary licenses in its own determination of fees owed – even though it still expects you to pay reg fees for such licenses. So don’t forget to inventory all your auxiliaries before you start the payment process, just to be sure that you’re paying everything you owe.
Enjoy the rest of your summer.