Option 2 Handbook
2009–10 Radio Broadcasting Licence
For Commercial Radio Broadcasting Licensees
This handbook provides information for radio broadcasting licensees on how to meet broadcasting licence fee requirements, including how to complete the Radio Licence Fee Calculation (ACMA B10 Form) and Commercial Radio Activity Statement (ACMA B17 Form).
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Important notice 1 When may the ACMA be required to release licensee information? 1 Enquiries 1 Important terms and abbreviations 2 1 What is the role of the ACMA? 3 2 What are your obligations as a licensee? 4 2.1 Statutory obligations of licensees 4 2.2 What if a licensee fails to submit the Return or pay the correct
licence fee? 4 3 Lodging the broadcasting licence fee return 6 3.1 Who should lodge a Return? 6 3.2 When is the Return lodged? 6 3.3 What is a complete Broadcasting Licence Fees Return? 6 3.4 Have you bought or sold a broadcasting licence? 7 3.5 How is the Return lodged? 7 3.6 What forms must be used for the Return? 8 3.7 Have you changed B10 Radio Form schedules? 8 3.8 Naming convention for forms, documents & emails 8 3.9 Submission of BLF Return Flowchart 10 4 Paying the broadcasting licence fee 11 4.1 What licence fee is payable? 11 4.2 When is the licence fee paid? 11 4.3 How do licensees make a licence fee payment? 11 4.4 Can more than one licence fee be paid in the same transaction? 11 4.5 What payment reference is to be used in the bank remittance? 12 4.6 What if a licence fee payment is incorrect? 12 5 How to complete specific parts of the Return 13 5.1 Radio Licence Fee Calculation - B10 Radio Form 13 5.1.1 General information on completion of the B10 Radio Form 13 5.1.2 Specific sections of the B10 Radio Form 14 5.1.3 Definition of gross earnings relating to the B10 Radio Form 15 5.2 Statutory Declaration 15 5.3 Commercial Radio Activity Statement 15 5.3.1 Submission of the B17 Activity Statement 15
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5.3.2 Completing the B17 Activity Statement 15 5.3.4 Specific sections of the B17 Activity Statement 16 5.4 Consolidated Statement (ACMA B19 Radio Form) 17 5.5 Independent Audit Report 18 5.6 Provision of Audited Financial Statements 19 5.7 Remittance Schedule (ACMA B79 Radio Form) 19 5.8 Return Checklist Form 19 6 Worked example of forms 20 Appendix A 21 Formula for calculation of Radio Licence Fee 21 (No Change in Return Period End) 21
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These instructions are not intended as legal advice nor do they indicate how the Australian Communications and Media Authority (“the ACMA”) may treat any
individual claim made by a licensee. They are solely intended to assist commercial radio broadcasting licensees in meeting their broadcasting licence fee obligations. They must be read prior to paying the licence fee and in conjunction with completion of the Broadcasting Licence Fee Return (“Return”) as they are instructions for licence
fee payment and preparation of Return documents for submission to the ACMA.
Licensees should also familiarise themselves with the relevant sections of the following legislation:
Broadcasting Services Act 1992; and
Radio Licence Fees Act 1964.
The links to the instruments are also on the Comlaw website: www.comlaw.gov.au
When may the ACMA be required to release licensee information?
The ACMA may be required to release submissions by law under the Freedom of
Information Act 1982 or for other reasons including for the purpose of parliamentary processes or under court subpoena.
Under the Australian Communications and Media Authority Act 2005, the ACMA is
able to disclose submissions to the Minister, the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, authorised officials, Royal Commissions and certain Commonwealth authorities.
The ACMA will seek to consult submitters of confidential information before that information is provided to another party, but the ACMA cannot guarantee that confidential information will not be released through these or other legal means.
For any enquiries regarding broadcasting licence fee requirements please contact the Revenue Assurance Team at the ACMA on (02) 6219 5355.
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Important terms and abbreviations
ACMA Australian Communications and Media Authority
B17 Activity Commercial Radio Activity Statement (ACMA B17 Form)
Radio Licence Fee Calculation (ACMA B10 Radio Form) B10 Radio Form
Consolidated Statement (ACMA B19 Radio Form) B19
Broadcasting Licence Fee - licence fee as defined in s.5 of the RLF Act BLF
All Forms and other documents required to be submitted to the ACMA by Broadcasting
commercial radio broadcasting licensees – refer Section 3.3 of this handbook Licence Fee
for the list of required documentation Return
Broadcasting Services Act 1992 BSA
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy DBCDE
Electronic Funds Transfer EFT
Commercial radio broadcasting licence as defined in s.6 of the BSA Licence
Holder of a commercial radio broadcasting licence as defined in s.6 of the BSA Licensee
Has the same meaning as Broadcasting Licence Fee Return Return
1Means the 1 July to 30 June standard financial year (accounting period) that Return period
occurs prior to each 31 December licence fee payment date.
Where the ACMA has given a licensee permission under s.205B(2) of the BSA
to adopt an accounting period ending on a date other than 30 June, the Return
period is the 12 months ending on that day other than 30 June
Radio Licence Fees Act 1964 RLF Act
TAB Totalisator Agency Board
The 205B Audited profit and loss account and audited balance sheet in the form
documents approved by the ACMA, Independent Audit Report in relation to these
documents, and a Statutory Declaration of the Gross Earnings generated from
the service(s) provided under the licence
1 As stated in section 205B(2) of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992
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1 What is the role of the ACMA? The Australian Communications and Media Authority (“the ACMA”) is responsible for
the regulation of broadcasting, datacasting, radiocommunications, telecommunications and online content. As part of its administrative responsibilities the ACMA collects the broadcasting licence fee (“BLF”) from commercial radio broadcasting licence holders. Broadcasting licence fees for commercial radio broadcasting licensees are governed
Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (“the BSA”) and the Radio Licence Fees Act by the
1964 (“the RLF Act”).
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2 What are your obligations as a licensee?
2.1 Statutory obligations of licensees
RLF Act establishes the BLF for commercial radio broadcasting licensees, how it The
is calculated and when it must be paid. The fee is calculated based on a licensee‟s 2gross earnings from broadcasting advertisements or other material during the Return
period. Licensees are required to pay the fee to the ACMA by 31 December each year.
Section 205B of the BSA requires commercial radio broadcasting licensees to keep and maintain financial accounts in relation to the service(s) provided under the licence. Licensees must make those accounts available for inspection by the ACMA when requested to do so, and provide, within 6 months after the end of the Return period, that is, by 31 December each year (except where the ACMA has approved a variation to a licensee‟s Return period), an audited balance sheet and an audited profit and loss account (each in the form approved by the ACMA). Section 205B of the BSA also
requires licensees to provide a Statutory Declaration stating the gross earnings in relation to each licence held. These forms are collectively known as “the 205B
documents” and comprise the Activity Statement (“B17 Activity Statement”), a
Statutory Declaration and an Independent Audit Report.
In accordance with paragraph 205B(1)(d) of the BSA the ACMA may direct
commercial radio broadcasting licensees to keep and maintain certain financial accounts in respect of the service or services provided under the licence and give copies of those records to the ACMA on request. Licensees will be notified by the ACMA where such a direction is made.
In addition to the 205B documents, the ACMA requires licensees to provide an approved form together with the BLF payment in accordance with 205C of the BSA.
This form is the ACMA Radio Licence Fee Calculation Form (“B10 Radio Form”) and
is used to inform the ACMA of the manner in which the licensee worked out the licence fee payable.
2.2 What if a licensee fails to submit the Return or pay the correct licence fee?
Licensees who fail to submit a complete Return and/or pay the correct licence fee by the due date, and/or fail to provide all information as requested by the ACMA may face enforcement action.
A commercial radio broadcasting licensee who fails to pay the correct licence fee may incur penalties specified under section 205D of the BSA:
> Where no BLF has been paid by the due date OR the BLF is underpaid and the ACMA is satisfied it was deliberately miscalculated - an additional fee of 20% per annum on the amount unpaid, calculated from the 31 December due date plus a further fee of $1,500 applies; or
> Where the BLF has been underpaid and the ACMA does not consider it was deliberately miscalculated – the licensee has 21 days from the date a Notice of
Underpayment is given to it by the ACMA to make payment of the unpaid portion of
2 Pursuant to section 4 of the Radio Licence Fees Act 1964
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the BLF. After this time, an additional fee of 20% per annum on the amount unpaid from the date the notice is given, plus a further fee of $1,500 applies.
The ACMA may remit these additional fees if it considers it reasonable based on the circumstances specified in section 205D(4) of the BSA.
Failure to provide the 205B documents in full to the ACMA is a breach of the licence conditions for commercial radio broadcasting licensees set out at paragraph 8(1)(ha) of Schedule 2 of the BSA, which may attract serious penalties.
Failure to provide the B10 Radio Form along with the BLF in accordance with section 205C(1) is also a breach of the BSA.
Licensees should refer to the Guidelines relating to ACMA’s enforcement powers
under the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 for further information on the full suite of
enforcement powers available to the ACMA in relation to broadcasting matters including (but not limited to):
> suspension or cancellation of a licence;
> seeking enforceable undertakings from a licensee;
> issuing formal directions; and/or
issuing infringement notices for certain contraventions.
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3 Lodging the broadcasting licence fee return
3.1 Who should lodge a Return?
Any person or entity that held a commercial radio broadcasting licence at any time during the Return period must ensure a complete BLF Return is lodged with the
ACMA by 31 December immediately following the Return period. For those persons who have sold or surrendered a licence prior to the lodgement date please refer to Section 3.4 below. Only radio licensees providing commercial broadcasting services, as defined under section 14 of the BSA under a commercial broadcasting licence must
lodge the Return. The Return is not lodged for any other type of broadcasting licence.
The Return must be based on the full broadcasting gross earnings in relation to the service or services provided under the licence for the Return period, regardless of who held the licence during the Return period. If a commercial broadcasting licensee bought or sold a broadcasting licence on or prior to 31 December, please refer to Section 3.4 below for further information on your responsibilities.
Please note that even if a licensee does not earn any advertising sales and other broadcasting revenue during the Return period, a Return must still be lodged with the ACMA by 31 December immediately following the Return period.
3.2 When is the Return lodged?
A complete BLF Return must be received by the ACMA by 31 December immediately
following the Return period. Penalties for failing to provide a complete Return or failing to meet this deadline are outlined at Section 2.2 above.
3.3 What is a complete Broadcasting Licence Fees Return?
For the purposes of these instructions, a complete radio BLF Return (“the Return”)
> ACMA B10 Radio Form - Radio Licence Fee Calculation (including the
appropriate completed Schedule – Accruals or Cash Translation) to support
calculation and payment of the licence fee;
> ACMA B17 Form – Commercial Radio Activity Statement (all Schedules, including Schedules B and C, the balance sheet and profit and loss account for each licence) (“B17 Activity Statement”);
> Audited Financial Statements and notes for each licence;
> ACMA B19 Radio Form – Consolidated Statement must be provided where
consolidated audited financial statements are provided;
> Independent Audit Report in the form prescribed by the ACMA on at least one of
the following forms:
> Radio Licence Fee Calculation (ACMA B10 Radio Form); OR
> ACMA B19 Radio Form (if consolidated audited financial statements are being
provided – refer above).
> A Statutory Declaration made by the Chief Executive Officer or Company
Secretary of the licensee as to the gross earnings in relation to each licence; and Accompanying the Return:
> ACMA B79 Form - Radio Licence Fees Remittance Schedule; and
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