We’ve prepared the following guide to help you understand many of the taxes, surcharge, fees and assessments you might see on your Company invoice.
Government Taxes, Fees and Surcharges
The Company collects and remits a wide range of federal, state and local taxes, surcharges and fees in support of government programs, or on behalf of governmental entities that impose them on communications providers, for the sale of goods and services. These charges include, but are not limited to, sales and use taxes, franchise fees and emergency services surcharges; they vary by jurisdiction and may be as specific as “transit” or “district” taxes.
Universal Service Fund (USF)
Universal Service Fund surcharges support the provision of affordable telecommunications services to rural, isolated, and high-cost areas; low-income residential subscribers; schools and libraries; and rural health care programs. All communications companies (including local, long distance, cellular, and paging providers) must contribute to the Federal Universal Service Fund; and several states also have Universal Service programs funded by rate-payers.
Telecommunications Assistance “Lifeline” Programs (e.g. TAP, LITAP)
These surcharges fund “Lifeline” programs. These are state-run programs to lower the cost of residential telephone or broadband service for persons who meet certain income guidelines, have a disability, or are at least 65 years of age. TAP surcharges are assessed to all telephone customers (except Lifeline recipients) at a flat rate per line.
State Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) & Telephone Assistance for Communications Impaired Persons (TACIP)
TRS programs enable telephone conversations for communications impaired persons through the use of special equipment and Relay Service operators. Costs for intrastate TRS (i.e., TRS calls made within a state) are paid by the states, which may recover intrastate TRS costs through a charge applied to the telephone bills of all telephone customers in a state. More information »
Federal Cost Recovery Charge
Allows for recovery of money paid to the federal government for regulatory costs and telecommunication services for the hearing-impaired. This charge is a percentage of interstate and international charges. Additional information regarding the Federal TRS fund may be found on the FCC Website https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/telecommunications-relay-service-trs.
Public Utility Commission Fee (PUC)
Some states require telecommunications providers to collect fees to support the operations of the state public utilities commission.
Federal, State and Local Taxes, Surcharges & Fees
The Company collects and remits a wide range of federal, state, and local taxes, surcharges and fees in support of government programs, or on behalf of governmental entities that impose them on communications providers for the sale of goods and services. These charges include, but are not limited to, sales and use taxes, franchise fees and emergency services surcharges. Taxes and fees vary by jurisdiction, if you need more information about a specific tax or surcharge, contact Customer Care.
FCC Regulatory Fee
A fee paid by Interstate Telecommunications Service Providers to fund the Federal Communications Commission. The current rate is the last rate published by the FCC.
FCC Regulatory Fee – Toll Free
The FCC imposes a regulatory fee on communications providers for each toll free number the provider manages (i.e., telephone numbers for which the toll charges for completed calls are paid by the toll free subscriber). The fee is determined annually by the FCC, and Company collects and remits payment of the fee.
The Company may also impose the following Company-specific surcharges to support its provision of telecommunications services.
Interstate Access Charge (IAC)
The IAC defrays the costs of maintenance and upkeep of Company’s network so that customers can access the interstate telecommunications network to place and receive interstate, off-shore and international long distance calls. This monthly recurring charge is assessed as a flat rate per line or circuit for single and multi-line customers.
Interconnection Fee (ICF)
The ICF is designed to recover portions of the Company’s costs of interconnection to the public switch telephone network (PSTN). The ICF is a monthly recurring charge assessed as a flat per line or circuit.
Network Access Assessment (NAA)
The NAA is assessed as a percentage of recurring and usage charges for local and intrastate services (depending on service location); interstate and international services, data, IP-platform and cloud services; private-line services; and the Interstate Access Charge (IAC) and Interconnection Fee (ICF).
Account Maintenance Charge (AMC)
The AMC is a monthly recurring end-user subscriber charge associated with general account servicing and administration. Customers can receive credits to offset this charge by enrolling in electronic billing and/or ACH auto pay.