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Charges on your phone bill

Below is a list with charges that can be found on a telephone bill:

Federal taxes:

» Federal Excise Tax

3% tax mandated by the US Federal Government and imposed on local service only

» Universal Service Fund (USF)

Percentage charge imposed by the Federal Government to all telecommunications companies providing state to state and international services. The USF is meant to help make telephone service easily accessible and affordable to all Americans and American public institutions. Although not required, many carriers choose to pass this charge to consumers. The USF charge may also appear on your phone bill as:

  • Federal Universal Service Fee
  • Universal Connectivity Fee

State, municipal and local taxes:

» 911 Tax

Local charge imposed to help pay for emergency services

» State & Local Municipal Tax

Charge imposed by state, local, or municipal authorities. Also know as Gross Receipts tax.

» (State) Subscriber Line Charge

Charge mandated by some states' public service or utility commissions to compensate the local phone company for part of the cost of providing local telephone lines associated with state services, i.e., intrastate long distance.

» Telecommunications Relay Services Charge

State charge imposed to finance the Relay Center used to transmit and translate telephone calls for the hearing and and/or speech impared.

Charges imposed by your phone service provider:

These charges may vary depending on your service provider. Some examples are:

  • Access Charge
  • Directory Assistance Charge
  • Local Number Portability Charge
  • Low Usage Fee
  • Operator Assisted Calls Charge

More info