One of the functions of the BAI, as set out in section 33 of the Broadcasting Act 2009, is to impose a levy on public service broadcasters and broadcasting contractors to meet the expenses properly incurred by the Authority and the Statutory Committees in the execution of their statutory functions.

Levy Order

The terms of the levy, including the method of computation and payment terms are set out in a levy order.

The BAI levy year runs from 1st January to the 31st December.  Levies are calculated using the budgeted operating costs of the BAI for the levy year and the estimated qualifying income of the relevant broadcasters for the immediately preceding calendar year.

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Levy Model

Key Features

The BAI levy model is cost-recovery in nature, i.e. it is designed to ensure full recovery of the costs properly incurred by the Authority and its constituent committees in the period for which the levy is raised.

As a result, the levy computation must have full regard to the qualifying incomes of public service broadcasters and broadcasting contractors required to pay the levy as well to the operating costs of the Authority for the relevant period.

The BAI levy model has a regressive sliding scale element, whereby the levy amount paid (expressed as a percentage of the total qualifying income) falls as the value of qualifying income rises.

The BAI levy model also incorporates a de minimis rule, which ensures that all broadcasters make some contribution towards their costs of regulation.

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Levy Reconciliation Process

The final levy payable by a broadcaster in a given levy year is dependent on the costs properly incurred by the Authority and its constituent committees as well as the qualifying income of each broadcaster falling under the levy in its base year (the base year is the year immediately preceding a levy year). As such, a requirement of the levy reconciliation process is to have each broadcaster verify their qualifying income for a given base year.

Broadcasters can supply either one of two options with regards verifying their qualifying income. The options available are based on whether the broadcasters qualifying income exceeds the de minimus threshold of €250,000 as set out in the BAI Levy Order.

Once the independently verified qualifying incomes are received from all broadcasters, a recalculation is performed and each relevant broadcaster levy calculation is updated. This recalculation also takes account of the BAI’s actual audited costs incurred for the levy period.  Should there be an under or overpayment of levy by a broadcaster, this amount will be credited or debited against the next levy invoice that is to be raised.

This process is detailed in the BAI’s Levy Reconciliation Assurance Work Programme.

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Levy Calculation Tables

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Role of PwC

The BAI has engaged PwC to administer the levy collection process. The BAI has instructed PwC to minimise the administrative burden imposed on levy payers, while simultaneously assuring the probity of the levy collection process.

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