Fees for apparatus licences
We charge a yearly fee for apparatus licences.
Licence fees include:
- fees for services
- a licence tax
We adjust our taxes each year for inflation.
Different fees apply to commercial broadcasters.
The apparatus licence fee schedule (updated 1 July 2020) sets out the current fees for apparatus licences.
You should only use the schedule as a guide. You may want to ask an accredited person to help you or get legal advice.
You can also check if you are eligible for a licence fee exemption or concession.
1 July 2020 changes to taxes
In December 2019 the Australian Government announced changes to the activities and funding for the Electromagnetic (EME) Program to address current research and communications needs for the regulation and safety of EME from telco equipment.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (Modifications to Apparatus and Spectrum Licences Taxes) Direction 2020 directs us to change taxation arrangements on revenue collected for the EME Program.
On 28 May 2020 we made amending determinations to the Radiocommunications (Receiver Licence Tax) Determination 2015 and the Radiocommunications (Transmitter Licence Tax) Determination 2015. These reduced most apparatus licence taxes (both transmitter licence taxes and receiver licence taxes) by 0.8 per cent.
We will consult on proposed changes to the Spectrum Licence Tax arrangements in July 2020.
Renewal notices / expiry notices
We have not yet sent out renewal notices that are due shortly after 1 July 2020. We are implementing the tax reductions to ensure that you pay the correct amount.
You will receive your renewal notice around 1 July 2020 and may also receive an automated expiry notice soon after. If you receive an expiry notice, or don’t pay by the renewal date, you won’t lose your licence. You have up to 60 days from the renewal date to pay. If, due to the delay in receiving your renewal notice, you are not able to pay within 60 days of the renewal date, contact the Customer Service Centre as soon as possible.
How to pay your fee
If we give you a licence for more than 1 year, you can pay the fee upfront or in yearly instalments. If you don’t pay on time, you will need to pay upfront in the future.
If your licence is for 1 year or less, you will need to pay upfront when we issue the licence.
When your licence is due to expire, we may offer to renew it. Our policy on apparatus licence renewals explains our process.
- defer your renewal fee by up to 12 months from the expiry of your licence
- pay by instalments
The ACMA will waive any interest charges normally associated with this.
For further information on government assistance in relation to the coronavirus, please visit the Treasury website.
How we calculate taxes for apparatus licences
Apparatus licences may be for a transmitter or receiver.
We charge a licence tax for all transmitters. We only charge a tax for a receiver if you haven't licensed the transmitter.
The amount we charge depends on if the licence is an:
- assigned licence
- non-assigned licence
- new licence
The amount you need to pay for an assigned licence depends on:
- how many frequencies you need
- the amount of bandwidth
- the frequency
- location of the site
- transmitter power
We base the licence tax on the population density of an area.
Apparatus licence fee density area maps
The boundaries for density areas are available in:
We also use these to determine some taxes:
- the Australian Spectrum Map Grid (ASMG)
- hierarchical cell identification scheme
More information is in the licence fee schedule.
Pay your invoice
You have 45 days to pay your invoice.
If you don’t pay on time, we may refuse your application or renewal. We may also give your frequency to someone else.
You can appeal our decision.
If you give up your licence, we may refund part of your licence fee. We do this automatically.
As stated above, If you’re unable to pay for your licence renewal because you or your business have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, contact the ACMA for possible alternate arrangements.
Rules for licence fees
This legislation helps us determine how we charge for apparatus licences:
- Radiocommunications Act 1992
- Radiocommunications (Receiver Licence Tax) Act 1983
- Radiocommunications (Receiver Licence Tax) Determination 2015
- Radiocommunications (Transmitter Licence Tax) Act 1983
- Radiocommunications (Transmitter Licence Tax) Determination 2015
- Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (Apparatus Licence) Determination 2015
- Radiocommunications (Specified Radiocommunications Receivers and Types of Transmitter and Receiver Licences) Determination 2014
- Radiocommunications (Interpretation) Determination 2015
- Radiocommunications Taxes Collection Act 1983
- Radiocommunications Taxes Collection Regulations 1985
- Radiocommunications Taxes Collection (Penalties on Unpaid Tax) Determination 2015
- Radiocommunications (Charges) Determination 2017