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File your Statement of Ownership by Oct. 1

The deadline for filing your Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation (PS Form 3526) with the U.S. Postal Service is Oct. 1. The filing and publication of this form is a requirement for maintaining Periodicals mailing privileges. Dailies must publish a completed copy of this form in their newspaper by Oct. 10, and non-dailies by Oct. 31. You can download an interactive USPS form here.

The Texas Press Association has offered a good explanation of the postal form, especially the particulars about paid electronic copies: 

USPS has revised PS form 3526. The updated form has a July 2014 date at the very bottom of the form. The ability to claim electronic subscribers has been incorporated into the new form. PS Form 3526x (worksheet) is no longer necessary. Completing the form the last two years was confusing, especially having to use the worksheet. The new form is more straight forward and easier to complete.

PS Form 3526 is a three page form with a fourth page of instructions. Page one has not changed, and includes information on ownership and management. Page two will look familiar. The figures on this page relate only to print copies. Page three is for claiming Paid Electronic Copies. The entries there are very straight forward. Claiming electronic paid subscribers is voluntary. If you choose to not claim electronic copies, page three has a box to certify that at least 50 percent of all distributed copies are paid for above a nominal price, and a signature section.

There are specific requirements as to what defines a paid electronic subscriber. A print subscriber that is given free access to your electronic version is not a paid electronic subscriber. A paid electronic subscriber must pay a separate subscription rate that you have established for electronic subscribers. You are allowed to offer discounts to this rate but there are limitations.

Additionally, reporting less than 60 percent total paid subscribers on your Statement of Ownership could trigger a USPS circulation audit to verify your Periodicals eligibility. Also, at least 40 percent of your paid circulation must consist of printed copies.

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