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Understanding Your Bill
Explanation of Taxes and Charges on Your Bill
Taxes may differ by state and each person may select different features; therefore, you might find some variation of the following taxes on your bill.
Additional State Taxes
Each state has the power to levy Additional State Taxes based upon Public Utility Commission (PUC) Guidance. If you have a question about a charge on your bill that appears to be state initiated, contact your state PUC for explanation of the charge and why it was instituted. In many cases, these charges are similar to those levied at the interstate level.
Carrier Cost Recovery Charge
The Carrier Cost Recovery Charge is a monthly surcharge telecommunications carriers, such as LivCom Long Distance, are permitted to assess in order to defray a portion of the costs to terminate calls on other networks, fees paid to support government programs such as Telecommunications Relay Service and Local Number Portability, along with other charges assessed by the FCC, and additional indirect costs associated with administering and complying with government programs. This surcharge is not a customer tax or fee assessed by a government agency.
A tax collected for City Governments from purchasers of products and users of telecommunication services, which may include equipment, installation, maintenance as well as local and long distance service.
Emergency Service Fee for 911
The 911 Emergency Service Fee is a fee to cover the costs of local jurisdictions providing 911 emergency response services to its citizens. The fee is generally either an amount per telephone access line or a percentage of revenue. State law mandates the fee. LivCom is collecting this fee as a billing agent on behalf of the appropriate 911 jurisdictions within the state. A few states authorized LivCom to collect the fees as a cost recovery where the state designates LivCom as the provider of the 911 emergency phone service.
Federal Excise Tax
The Federal excise tax is a tax on local telephone service that includes services and facilities sold in connection with local service.
This tax is a percentage of the cost of your services and appears on the local phone portion of your bill. The percentage used to calculate the amount of the tax appears with the charge. For example, “Federal excise tax at 3%.”
LivCom acts as a billing agent and collects these fees on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). All monies collected for the Federal excise tax are paid directly to the IRS.
Interstate Access Charge
The FCC has mandated an access charge (known as the FCC Line Charge) to partially reimburse telephone service providers for the cost of routing long distance calls made by local customers. This charge is applied to all customers who have telephone lines in their home or business, whether they make long distance calls or not.
This is also known as the Federal Subscriber Line Charge and the Federal Line Cost Charge.
Intrastate Access Charge
State assessed surcharges to partially reimburse telephone service providers for the cost of routing long distance calls made by local customers. This charge is applied to all customers who have telephone lines in their home or business, whether they make long distance charges or not.
Federal Universal Service Fund (USF) charge
A monthly, per-line surcharge paid by the customer to recover local companies’ contribution to the Federal Universal Service Fund. This fund supports telecommunications and information services in schools, public libraries, and rural health-care facilities. The fund also subsidizes local service to high-cost areas and low-income customers. The FCC regulates this charge.
The Federal Universal Service Fund (FUSF) rate is reviewed quarterly. This fee helps to keep local telephone rates affordable for all customers and gives a discount to schools, libraries and low-income families. This charge will not be applied to Lifeline customers. Please visit the Lifeline web site to find out if you are eligible, or contact LivCom directly, 936.327.4309.
Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA)
Generated funds are reserved for mass transit systems.
Municipal Franchise Fee
A fee assessed for the privilege of using the municipal public rights-of-way. This fee provides the municipality the funds needed to recover the cost of administering the access to the right-of-way. Typical costs included are for inspection, permit processing, engineering, traffic, and other such expenditures that the municipality incurs to manage the health and safety of its citizens, as utility companies work in the right-of-way. The fee is generally either an amount per telephone access line or a percentage of revenue. State law or Public Utility Commission Tariffs allow LivCom to recover these costs as a separately billed item.
Municipal Infrastructure Maintenance Fee
Municipalities collect this fee from public utilities.
Service Provider Number Portability
Federal law requires all local phone companies to provide “service provider number portability,” which allows customers to retain their phone number when switching companies to provide their local phone service. Federal law allows for the recovery of costs associated with the development, implementation, and operability of service provider number portability. The Federal Communications Corporation (FCC) and State Public Utility Commissions approved the amounts that the local phone companies can charge, on a fee per access line basis, to recover these costs by charging PBX and ISDN PRI customers nine and five times the basic per line fee, respectively.
State Infrastructure Maintenance Fee
Similar to the Municipal Maintenance Fee. In both cases, public utilities recover these fees from their customers.
State Sales Tax
A State tax levied in all long distance calls and some services and features.
State Transaction Privilege Tax
Generally, there is little difference from a sales tax.
State Utility Gross Receipts Tax
Telephone companies must pay tax on total revenue. This funds the Public Utility Commissions and other state services. This tax is usually a liability of the company (levied on the company’s receipts). Generally, LivCom must pay this tax without regard to whether or not it is recovered from LivCom customers.
State Universal Service Fees
Some states assess State Universal Service Fees for providing universal service for schools, libraries, and rural health care facilities. This fee is calculated as a percentage of your total monthly long distance charges.
Telecommunication Relay Service/Hearing Impaired/Telecommunications Device for the Deaf
The Telecommunications Relay Service/Hearing impaired/Telecommunications devices for the Deaf surcharge is a fee for providing special needs equipment, facilities and services for people who are deaf to use the telecommunications network. This includes special phones, hearing devices, Braille pads, necessary network switching equipment and operation of a service center that the customer uses for specialized services. The requirements for collecting and remittance of the fees are state specific and established by state law, public utility commission rule or tariff filings.
Telecomm Service Excise Tax
Treated as a sales tax. The difference inferred in the name relates to the incidence of the tax — whether the tax is the liability of the customer or of the company. (If the tax is the liability of the company, regulatory authorities usually allow LivCom to recover it from customers, either as a separate line on the bill or just buried in LivCom’s cost of service).
Universal Service Fees
Universal Service Fees are mandated by the Federal Government and assessed under rules developed by the FCC to support universal service for schools, libraries, and rural health care facilities. It is calculated as a percentage of your total monthly long distance charges.