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Rare Reprieve for Last Minute Regulatory Fee Filers

For those of you who remember the sense of relief you felt as a kid when you forgot to study for a test and later found out that class was cancelled, the FCC is giving you a chance to enjoy that feeling again. Despite the fact that annual regulatory fees were due yesterday, September 14, 2011, the FCC announced late today that the filing deadline is being extended until 11:59 pm ET tomorrow, September 16, 2011.

That may be a relief to many, as this year the FCC did not send out individual notices of the fee filing deadline to licensees, meaning that the number of licensees who forgot to file is likely higher this year than is typically the case. However, that is not the reason for the extension. Those who waited until the last minute to file their fees discovered that the FCC’s electronic filing system was struggling under the load. Because of this, the FCC decided to grant the extension to make sure no one can complain that they tried to file on time but were prevented by the system from meeting the filing deadline. In other words, there’s no excuse for missing the filing deadline now!

Because regulatory fees paid by check must reach the FCC’s lockbox in St. Louis by the deadline, the more practical way of meeting the new deadline is through the use of a credit card for payment. Fees received after the deadline are subject to the automatic 25% late fee.