A filer 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.
A filer that demonstrates de minimis status is 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 filer should notify its underlying provider of its de minimis status for the calendar year. For a de minimis filer, this means that the underlying provider will consider the filer an end-user and may pass through Universal Service Fund charges the provider is required to pay on the services it provides to the filer. For non-de minimis filers, this notification informs the underlying providers that the filer is contributing directly to the Universal Service Fund and should not be charged by the provider for Universal Service Fund contribution obligations on the services provided to the filer.
Qualifying as De Minimis
De minimis thresholds for the current and previous calendar years are provided below.
Non-de minimis filers should notify the underlying providers that they will be a direct Universal Service Fund contributor for the calendar year.
Filers that are LIRE eligible should not include their international revenues in the calculations to determine de minimis status.
Calendar Year 2020
For calendar year 2020, filers that report less then $47,169.81 of combined interstate and international revenues on Line 423, columns (d) and (e) of the 2021 FCC Form 499-A will be considered de minimis for 2020. This figure is an estimate only, as the contribution factors for calendar year 2020 are not yet finalized.
Calendar Year 2019
For calendar year 2019, filers that report less than $55,339.54 of combined interstate and international revenues on Line 423, columns (d) and (e) of the 2020 FCC Form 499-A will be considered de minimis for 2019.
This is not an estimate, as the contribution factors for calendar year 2019 are all final.
Obligations for De Minimis Companies
FCC Form 499-A: Due April 1
De minimis filers are required to annually submit the FCC Form 499-A.
FCC Form 499-Q
De minimis filers are not required to submit the quarterly FCC Form 499-Q. In October of each year, a filer 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 filers notify USAC via email of its de minimis status each quarter.
If a filer 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 filer’s de minimis status and reverse all related Universal Service Fund contribution charges assessed for that calendar year. During the calendar year, if a filer is de minimis, USAC will not issue an invoice unless the filer 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.