Filers are reminded that while reporting annual revenues on the FCC Form 499-A, each filing entity must provide a common identifier for each affiliated filer, if applicable.
An affiliate, as outlined in the 2018 FCC Form 499 Instructions (Instructions), is a "person that (directly or indirectly) owns or controls, is owned or controlled by, or is under common ownership or control with, another person," unless otherwise specifically provided. For this purpose, the term 'owns' means "to own an equity interest (or the equivalent thereof) of more than 10 percent."
The common identifier for all affiliated filers is referred to the "Affiliated Filers Name/Holding Company" and is entered on Line 106.1 of the FCC Form 499-A. This is typically the name of the filer's holding company or controlling entity, if any. Amongst a large group of affiliates, this may be the name of the predominant commonly-owned or controlled entity. All reporting affiliates or commonly-owned entities should have the same Affiliated Filers Name (Line 106.1) and IRS employer identification number or more commonly referred to as the "EIN" (Line 106.2).
If the filer has no affiliates, check the appropriate box on Line 106.1.
On every FCC Form 499-A for a group of affiliated companies, the name on Line 106.1- Affiliated Filers Name/Holding Company Name must show the same name. The same applies for the 9-digit IRS EIN entered on Line 106.2. It too must match on every FCC Form 499-A filed for the group of affiliated companies.
A common audit finding found during a review of FCC Forms 499-A is that the filer incorrectly checked the box on Line 106.1, indicating that it did not have affiliates, when in fact, it does have affiliates or a common holding company, as defined by the Instructions. FCC regulations require all affiliates of a company to be identified by their holding company or controlling entity.
A filer may assume that they don't have a common identifier because the affiliated companies are not commonly owned and have separate board of directors. However, if the entities share common management (e.g., Chief Executive Officer), that also serves as a controlling element of the entities. Consistent with the Instructions, an affiliate is defined as being commonly-controlled. In this case, designate one of the filers as the "common identifier" and enter that name and EIN on each of the affiliate's FCC Forms 499-A.
Sometimes, filers fail to consider the full extent of their corporate ownership/control structure. Specifically, filers do not evaluate as far up their respective structures as their ultimate parent company and that parent company's subsidiaries. For example, a filer may be directly owned or controlled by an entity that does not file an FCC Form 499-A, and therefore determines it has no "affiliates" for form reporting purposes. However, the non-filing parent company may be owned by an entity who files an FCC Form 499-A, or has subsidiaries that are FCC Form 499-A filers. These entities could be considered affiliates for FCC Form 499-A reporting purposes and would need to be considered when determining a "common identifier" for Line 106.
Conversely, other audit findings reveal that some of the companies which are affiliates fail to include the common identifier name and number in Line 106.1 and 106. 2. Some companies may have as few as two affiliates while others may have over 50 different affiliates. No matter how many affiliates there are, they all must report the same common identifier on Line 106.1 and 106.2.