Sunday, March 25, 2012

Charges on your phone bill

Charges on your phone bill

I looked this up after reviewing my latest phone bill. I have only basic service, make very few calls, use my cell phone for any long distance calling.
And the 'taxes and other charges' are $12.96 of my total $60 bill.
Frontier is playing a little of a game here though, listing 'Federal Subscriber Line Charge' in with the federal taxes & charges, when according to the FCC:
"This charge covers the costs of the local phone network. This charge may appear as “FCC Charge for Network Access,” “Federal Line Cost Charge,” “Interstate Access Charge,” “Federal Access Charge,” “Interstate Single Line Charge,” “Customer Line Charge” or “FCC-Approved Customer Line Charge.” The FCC sets the maximum allowable Federal Subscriber Line Charge. This is not a government charge or tax, and it does not end up in the U.S. treasury."
So this is really part of the phone company's charges that they're just trying to make me think is not really theirs. And the taxes and other charges are really only $6.46 of my $60 bill.

I'll have to take another look at my cell phone bill. According to this article,
The average U.S. wireless customer pays taxes and fees of 16.26%, says the Tax Foundation, with state-local charges accounting for 11.21% of that overall amount.
And,
Worse, the Washington, D.C.-based tax research group found that state and local governments often hide or obscure the fees. In fact, my home state of Texas even sued Sprint because the company listed a state tax as a line-item in its bill, rather than hiding it from customers.
The Tax Foundation has a pdf on cell phone taxes here. See how much your state tax burden is.

More on phone charges, a little dated, but still worth a read, from cnet

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