A service provider qualifies for de minimis status for a given calendar year when the revenue reported on its corresponding FCC Form 499-A is such that the calculated annual contribution to the federal Universal Service Fund is less than $10,000.
De minimis service providers are exempt from directly contributing to the Universal Service Fund for a given calendar year, but may indirectly contribute through an underlying provider. The de minimis status is applicable only to the Universal Service Fund and thus does not necessarily affect a company’s contribution obligation for Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS), Local Number Portability (LNP), North American Numbering Plan (NANP), and Interstate Telecommunications Service Provider (ITSP) regulatory fees.
Annually, a service provider should notify its underlying provider of its de minimis status for the calendar year. For a de minimis service provider, this means that the underlying provider will consider the service provider an end-user and may pass through Universal Service Fund charges the underlying provider is required to pay on the services it provides to the service provider. For non-de minimis service providers, this notification informs the underlying providers that the filer is contributing directly to the Universal Service Fund and should not be charged by the underlying provider for Universal Service Fund contribution obligations on the services provided to the service provider.
Qualifying as De Minimis
De minimis thresholds for the current and previous calendar years are provided below.
Non-de minimis service providers should notify the underlying providers that they will be a direct Universal Service Fund contributor for the calendar year.
Service providers that are LIRE eligible should not include their international revenues in the calculations to determine de minimis status.
Calendar Year 2023
For calendar year 2023, the de minimis threshold is $39,062 for annual end user interstate and international telecommunication revenue. Service providers that anticipate projected end user interstate and international telecommunication revenue for each quarter of calendar year 2023 totaling less than or equal to $39,062 qualify for de minimis status and therefore are not obligated to file the FCC Form 499-Q, nor pay universal service contributions directly to USAC.
Calendar Year 2022
For calendar year 2022, filers that report less than $38,610 of combined interstate and international revenues on Line 423, columns (d) and (e) of the 2023 FCC Form 499-A will be considered de minimis for 2022.
Obligations for De Minimis Companies
FCC Form 499-A: Due April 1
De minimis service providers are required to annually submit the FCC Form 499-A.
FCC Form 499-Q
De minimis service providers are not required to submit the quarterly FCC Form 499-Q. In October of each year, a service provider should review its interstate and international revenue forecasts for the coming calendar year to determine if it will be de minimis for that year.
USAC recommends that de minimis service providers notify USAC via email of its de minimis status each quarter.
If a service provider is de minimis based on its FCC Form 499-A for a calendar year, but projected non-de minimis amounts of revenue and was invoiced for some or all of the corresponding FCC Forms 499-Q for the calendar year, the annual true-up process will confirm the service provider’s de minimis status and reverse all related Universal Service Fund contribution charges assessed for that calendar year. During the calendar year, if a service provider is de minimis, USAC will not issue an invoice unless the service provider has another type of activity or has an outstanding debt to USAC.
If during the year you believe that USAC has incorrectly assessed Universal Service Fund contributions because of your de minimis status, use the billing disputes process to request that USAC reverse the charges. Service providers can complete the de minimis certification on company letterhead. Please have the Chief Executive Officer of the company sign the certificate, have it notarized and email the completed certification to USAC. Once processed, the contribution will be reversed.