All phone, Internet and TV accounts have applicable taxes, surcharges and fees. These charges vary from state to state and city to city. They appear at the bottom of your invoice. Each type of service (phone, Internet and TV) is taxed differently.
The most common federal charges are:
Federal Access Charge
The Federal Access Charge is authorized by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for providing access to and maintenance of the local phone network.
Federal Excise Tax
The Federal Excise Tax is assessed by the federal government for telephone services.
Federal Universal Service Fund
The Federal Universal Service Fund Charge supports the telecommunications needs of consumers living in high-cost service areas, low-income households, schools, libraries and rural healthcare providers. The charge is set by the FCC and is adjusted on your bill quarterly as the costs charged by the fund change.
State and Local Charges
State and local charges vary depending on where you live. Some of the more common charges, which may or may not appear on your bill, include:
Taxes assessed by state, county or city governments on telephone services.
911 or E911 Charge
A dedicated tax that provides funds for the communications systems that support emergency and quick response police, fire and ambulance services with identification of phone number and location.
Special District Sales Tax
These taxes are assessed outside the scope of states, counties or cities and are used for transit districts, stadium districts and other special purpose tax districts.
State Universal Service Fund Surcharge
This charge helps to keep basic exchange rates affordable to all customers who live in the state. The funds collected are remitted to the state utility commission.
Telecommunications Relay Service Fund
This surcharge helps to fund relay centers that assist hearing and speech impaired individuals make and receive phone calls.
Telephone Assistance Program
These are dedicated monies used to provide telephone subsidies to low-income, elderly or disabled customers who could not afford phone service otherwise.