This article contains some of the charges you may see on both your wireline and wireless telephone bills. Click a link to jump to the a section of the article.
- Access Charges
- Federal Excise Tax
- State and Local Taxes
- State Communication Tax
- Universal Service Charges
- 911, LNP, and TRS Charges
- E911 County Surcharges
- Other Charges
- Florida Communications Service Tax
- Local Communications Service Tax
- Total Communications Service Tax
Federal Network Access Charge - Interstate charge recovers part of the costs to connect customers to the telecommunications network. The amount subscribers have to pay their local exchange carrier for the access to its network. The amount charged by a network operator for the use of their network by other network operators.
- Local telephone companies are allowed to bill customers for a portion of what it costs to provide access to their local networks. These charges are not a government charge or tax. The maximum allowable access charges per telephone line are set by the FCC, but local telephone companies are free to charge less, or even nothing at all.
- Access charges for additional lines at the same residence may be higher than charges for the primary line. These charges may be described on your bill as Federal Access Charge, Customer or Subscriber Line Charge, Network Access Charge, Interstate Access Charge, or the like.
- State public service commissions regulate access charges for intrastate (within a state) calls. In some states, a state subscriber line charge may appear on customer bills.
Federal excise tax
- This 3 percent (3%) tax applies only to local service billed separately from long distance service. The federal telephone excise tax is a statutory federal excise tax imposed under the Internal Revenue Code in the United States under 26 U.S.C. § 4251 on amounts paid for certain "communications services."
State and local taxes
- Taxes may be imposed by state, local, and municipal governments on goods and services, including phone service. These may appear as gross receipts taxes on your bill.
State Communication Tax
Communications services tax (CST) is imposed on each sale of communications services in Florida. Examples of communications services include, but are not limited to:
- Cable and satellite television,
- Video and music streaming,
- Telephone, including Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP),
- Mobile communications, and similar services.
Universal service charges
In connection with the FCC's Universal Service Orders, the Company will pay a percentage of its retail revenues to support the Universal Service Fund (USF). The Company will pass-through the USF assessment to its customers by assessing a charge applicable against all retail interstate and international charges, including usage and non-usage charges. This surcharge is in addition to standard usage charges and any applicable service charges and surcharges associated with the Company's service. The Company's Federal USF Pass-Through Charge factor will match the relevant quarterly Universal Service Contribution Factor approved by the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rounded up to the nearest tenth of a percent. Universal Service Contribution Factors are available at www.fcc.gov/general/contribution-factor-quarterly-filings-universal-service-fund-usf-management-support.
- All telecommunications service providers must contribute to the federal USF, which helps people in rural and high-cost areas, and income-eligible consumers, get access to telecommunications services at reasonable rates through programs and initiatives such as the Connect America Fund, Lifeline and the E-rate program for schools and libraries.
- A Universal Service line item may appear on your telephone bill when your service provider chooses to recover USF contributions from you, the customer. The FCC does not require this charge to be passed on to you, but service providers are allowed to do so. These charges usually appear as a percentage of your phone bill. Companies cannot collect an amount that exceeds the percentage of their own contributions to the USF. They also cannot collect any fees on services fully supported by the Lifeline program.
- The USF is a system of telecommunications subsidies and fees managed by the FCC intended to promote universal access to telecommunications services in the United States.
911, LNP, and TRS charges
- 911 – To help local governments pay for emergency services such as fire and rescue.
- Local Number Portability (LNP) – For keeping your current local telephone numbers when switching from one service provider to another at the same location. Fees may vary by company; some may not charge any fees. These fees are not taxes.
- Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) – To help pay for relay services that transmit and translate calls for people with hearing or speech disabilities.
- Florida Surcharge for Hearing Impaired - Florida law (TASA F.S. 427) requires that both the FTRI Equipment Distribution Program and the Florida Relay Service be funded by a monthly surcharge that is billed to all telephone consumers (landlines) in the State of Florida. *Currently the legal surcharge is $0.11*
E911 County Surcharges
The Prepaid Wireless E911 Surcharge is a charge imposed on the consumer, to be collected by sellers, when a retail transaction takes place which includes prepaid wireless telecommunications service.
- Directory Assistance – For placing 411 or (area code) 555-1212 directory assistance calls.
- Monthly Calling Plan Charge – For any monthly calling plan, such as unlimited long distance calling on your wireline bill or unlimited minutes on your wireless bill.
- Operator Assisted Calls – For calls connected by an operator. Rates for these calls generally are higher than rates for unassisted calls.
- Features Charges – For services such as call forwarding, three-way calling, call waiting, voice mail and caller ID.
These charges would appear only on your wireline telephone bill:
- Minimum Monthly Charge – Some long distance companies charge a minimum monthly fee even if you don't make long distance calls.
- Single Bill Fee – For combining local and long distance charges onto one bill. This fee is not mandated by the FCC and is not an FCC charge. Some companies waive the fee for customers who pay bills online or by credit card. You can avoid the charge by arranging for separate billing from your long distance telephone company.
Florida Communications Services Tax
What is taxable?
Sales of communications services in Florida are taxable, unless specifically exempt. Communications services are defined as voice, data, audio, video, or any other information or signals, transmitted by any medium. Communications services subject to tax include, but are not limited to:
- Local, long distance, and toll telephone
- Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone
- Video service (for example, television programming or streaming), whether provided by a cable, telephone, or other communications services provider
- Direct-to-home satellite
- Mobile communications
- Private line services
- Pager and beeper
- Telephone charges made at a hotel or motel
- Facsimiles (fax), when not provided in the course of professional or advertising service
- Telex, telegram, and teletype
Local Communications Services Tax
Each local taxing jurisdiction (municipality, charter county, or unincorporated county) has a specific local tax rate. A list of all the current and past local jurisdictional rates is available to download on this website http://floridarevenue.com/taxes/taxesfees/Pages/cst.aspx . For a list of current local rates only, see the Jurisdiction Tax Rate Table.
The local communications services tax must be separately itemized on the customer billing. Dealers must add the local communications services tax to the price of the communications services sold. Dealers may not absorb or relieve the customer of all or any part of the local communications services tax.
Local CST Rates
Local CST Rates (varies by jurisdiction)
Total Communications Services Tax
The total communications services tax rate is the state rate, gross receipts rates, and the local tax rate combined.
Total CST Rate
State CST rate
Gross receipts additional tax rate
Gross receipts tax rate
Local CST Rates (varies by jurisdiction)
Total CST rate