Contributors

Trainings & Outreach

498/499 Spotlight - January 2015

498/499 Spotlight

Deadlines

DUE

ITEM

DESCRIPTION

January 15

Universal service contributions

Contributor Billing

February 2

FCC Form 499-Q

File FCC Form 499-Q

February 13

Universal service contributions

Contributor Billing

March 13

Universal service contributions

Contributor Billing

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Revenue Reporting

Report Revenues on FCC Form 499-Q by February 2, 2015

Each quarter, all telecommunications carriers and interconnected VoIP providers that are required to contribute directly to universal service and that are not de minimis must file the FCC Form 499-Q (Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) with USAC.

The FCC Form 499-Q is used to collect carrier revenue information and to determine the carrier's universal service contribution obligation for the upcoming quarter.

Universal service contributors should submit their FCC Form 499-Q using E-File. Users can pull up historical forms, edit and submit changes, and certify online.

For more information about E-File or filing USAC forms online, visit the E-File information page. There, you will find the E-File User Guide, which walks you through getting started as a new or existing user, resetting passwords, and managing accounts. The guide also offers step-by-step instructions for submitting and certifying the FCC Forms 499-A/Q.

The table below provides information associated with your February FCC Form 499-Q. If you have questions about the revenue you are reporting on your form, or the dates listed here, call USAC's Customer Operations team at (866) 411-8722.

Here is what you need to know about the February FCC Form 499-Q:

Revenue data you will provide on the February FCC Form 499-Q
  • Actual billed revenue from October 1 – December 31, 2014, on lines 115-118
  • Projected billed and projected collected revenue from April 1 – June 30, 2015, on lines 119-120

February FCC Form 499-Q revision deadline

March 19, 2015

Resulting USAC invoices

Based on the April 1 – June 30, 2015, projected collected revenue reported:

  • Invoices issued in April, May, and June 2015
  • Payments due in May, June, and July 2015

De minimis carriers do not need to complete FCC Form 499-Q. Visit the What and How to File page on the USAC website to find out if your company qualifies as de minimis.

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At The FCC

First Quarter 2015 Contribution Factor Increase to 16.8 Percent

The FCC released a Public Notice (DA 14-1832) announcing that the proposed universal service contribution factor for the first quarter (January-March) of 2015 will be 0.168, or 16.8 percent.

For more information about contribution factors, visit the Contribution Factors page on the USAC website.

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New Requirement: You Must File Your 2015 FCC Form 499-A Electronically

On December 23, 2014 the FCC released the Public Notice DA 14-1886 which was further clarified on January 7, 2015 with an Erratum (WC Docket No. 06-122).

The Public Notice and Erratum state that, "Beginning with the April 2015 FCC Form 499-A and the May 2015 FCC Form 499-Q, contributors are required to file the FCC Forms electronically."

USAC's E-File system is used by over 80 percent of FCC form filers to submit, verify, and certify their FCC Form 499 filings online. The benefits of using E-File include:

  • Friendly user interface that provides step by step instructions to guide users through the filing process;
  • Pre-population of all non-financial information;
  • Error notifications, validations, checks, and auto-correction to help increase accuracy; and
  • Immediate, real-time confirmation of successful certification.

Filers should confirm that their email addresses and passwords are current in the E-file system. Company Officers and Preparers who have not been utilizing E-File should visit the E-File page of USAC's website and click on "Reset Password" to re-activate their E-File account.

To ensure your company is prepared for the April 2015 online filing, USAC recommends all capable companies complete the February 2015 FCC Form 499-Q using E-File.

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Disbursements

Credit Balance Refund

Did you know that a carrier can make a credit balance refund (CBR) request at any point throughout the year by following the instructions on USAC's website? When requesting a CBR, carriers may choose to either receive a refund of the positive balance or they may request that the balance be transferred to a related account.

In early February 2015, USAC will contact carriers that are expected to have a credit balance as of their March 2015 invoice. Contacted carriers will be directed to USAC's website for credit balance processing instructions.

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Did You Know

Contributors BCAP External Audits Begin in January 2015

Beginning again this month, USAC has contracted with external audit firms to conduct audits under the Beneficiary and Contributor Audit Program (BCAP), which ensure compliance with FCC rules and requirements by identifying areas of non-compliance and amounts of recoverable funds. USAC has worked closely with the FCC to develop and implement this program, and the audits are designed to avoid placing undue demands on auditees.

During the audits, the auditors will request documentation to support selected companies' completeness of revenue, classification of products, jurisdiction allocation, and USF recovery charges. A list of requested documentation is available on the Contributors Audit Checklist.

More information about contributor audits is available on USAC's website, on the Contributor audits page under Contributors Program Integrity, including:

  • An overview of the BCAP audit process,
  • Common audit findings,
  • Details about audit reporting, and
  • Steps to minimize audit findings.

Many of the companies selected for audit are chosen at random. If your company is selected for an audit, it will receive an announcement letter detailing the purpose, scope, and starting date of the audit. Typically, selected companies will be contacted two to three weeks prior to the start of the audit.

Please feel free to contact the USAC Internal Audit Division by phone at (202) 776-0200 or via email if you have any questions or concerns about BCAP audits.

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Online FCC Form 499 User-Friendly Interface

During 2014, USAC enhanced E-File's user interface to simplify the filing of FCC Forms 499-A/Q. To review the current interface functionality, see FCC Form 499 Online User Guide and the FCC Form 499-A: Online Filing Demo training video.

E-File also supports Company Officers and General Contacts in performing administrative tasks, such as resetting passwords and managing user entitlements.

Additional training is available in the Contributors' Online Learning Library.

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Training

Upcoming Web-Based Training

USAC will host webinars in the coming weeks. One webinar will provide a live demo of the E-File system, including a soon-to-be-released modification in E-File to allow up to five Company Officers and nine preparers, each with their own unique email and password, to be designated per Filer ID.

USAC will host a second webinar to review good filing practices and explain how to avoid common errors in filing the FCC Form 499-A.

Be sure USAC has your current email address to ensure you receive the invitation to attend these webinars. If you are unable to attend either of these sessions, recordings will be posted in the Online Learning Library.

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