What are the taxes on your Ting bill?

Any examples out there of what people are paying in taxes along with their bill?

The plan I will most likely be using will come out to about $48 before taxes.

I am just curious how much more I will see added on to my bill.

These are the current taxes on my Sprint bill ($65 dollar 2-line plan before taxes & fees):

Taxes & Fees (Dallas, Texas):

Federal-Univ Serv Assess Non-LD $2.38

State-State Cost Recovery Fee $0.65

Univ Serv Assessment $2.10

Administrative Charge $3.00

Regulatory Charge $0.80

State-911 Tax $1.00

State-Equalization Surcharge $0.12

State-Sales Tax $4.40

City-District Tax $0.16

City-Sales Tax $1.24

Total: $15.85 in taxes!

Thanks!

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Comments

50 comments
  • Wow! I never realized how heavy taxes could be on a phone service! I'd certainly like to hear this as well.

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  • I think most of the taxes depend on the amount of your bill.  Mine is probably a partial month, but if you want to see the line items:

    Universal Service Fund (Wireless) $0.17

    E911 Tax (Wireless) $0.50

    E911 Tax $0.06

    Sales Tax $0.41

    Fed USF Cellular $0.40

    FCC Regulatory Fee (Wireless) $0.01

    Taxes and Regulatory Fees Total: $1.55

    By this way, this is far fewer items than Sprint adds on.

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  • I also reside in Texas and here is the breakdown for 1 month of Ting service for me (I spend $23 a month for Ting service):

    Sales Tax                                                      $1.70

    Universal Service Fund (Wireless)          $0.58

    Fed USF Cellular                                         $1.33

    E911 Tax (Wireless)                                   $0.50

    E911 Tax                                                       $0.06

    FCC Regulatory Fee (Wireless)               $0.01

    ____________________________________

    Taxes and Regulatory Fees Total:           $4.18 

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  • Hmm... Texas here too.  How about that.

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  • Thanks for sharing guys, it looks like taxes are indeed way less on Ting.

    The two E911's and FCC Regulatory Fee looks to be the same, no matter what the bill is.

    The other three taxes seem to be dependent on the bill.

    Sprints taxes and fees are outrageous in comparison.

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  • Agreed, but I bet we are all paying a lot less even before taxes, thanks to Ting charging us for what we actually use instead of the "all you can eat" nonsense.

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  • The big three get taxed for doing business - they have a habit of literally passing it on to you, the customer and just let you pay for it. In other words, it looks like a tax charged to you for whatever service, but its really a tax charged to them, and they pass the buck. Ting may be actually just figuring those added taxes into the cost of their service, and making it simpler on us to have a stable bill. Considering the list of taxes on my ting phone are half as long as the list on my att phone, methinks that is what the are doing.

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  • |

    CASF

    Telecommunications Relay Service Surcharge

    Universal Lifeline Telephone Service Charge

    CA Teleconnect Fund

    State High Cost Fund

    Utility Users Tax

    E911 Tax

    P.U.C. Fee

    Fed USF Cellular

    FCC Regulatory Fee (Wireless)

    $0.03

    $0.04

    $0.22

    $0.02

    $0.06

    $0.58

    $0.10

    $0.03

    $1.16

    $0.01

    |
    |
    Taxes and Regulatory Fees Total:
    | $2.25
    |

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  • well that didn't work very well, but you get the idea...

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  • Chicago, IL

    |

    Communications Services Tax Fed USF Cellular E911 Tax (Wireless) FCC Regulatory Fee (Wireless)

            $4.02         $1.87         $2.19         $0.04

    |
    |
    Taxes and Regulatory Fees Total:
    |         $8.12
    |

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  • My usage before taxes and regulatory fees will be about 72.00.  Can anyone with about that range of usage give me an idea of what you're paying in taxes and regulatory fees?  Thanks!

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  • Just a reminder, that it's important to compare taxes against somebody living in the same state as you, preferably the same municipality. It's *crazy* the difference in taxes based on where you live!

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  • 2 phones, Montgomery County Maryland:

    Usage -$2.00  (correction by Ting for using over or under our plan limits)

    Plans $37.00

    Taxes and Regulatory Fees $16.11

    Total $51.11

    Breakdown of taxes/fees:

    Sales Tax                $1.28

    Fed USF Cellular  $1.29

    Utility Users Tax (Wireless)  $10.50

    E911 Tax (Wireless) $3.00

    FCC Regulatory Fee (Wireless) $0.04

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  • Check your statements to make sure that the taxes charged are correct for your municpality/address.   I am "engaging" support because I live in the county, but in a zipcode that is shared with the city.  TING is charging me a $4 tax that is a city tax, even though I have told them I am in the county.  Apparently they have not yet sorted this out, but actually had the timerity to ask me to use a credit card with an issuing address in my county, because that is what they were using for determining taxes.  Makes no sense at all, so I hope they get this cleared up soon.  Meanwhile, it does make sense to check your bill and make sure it corroborates to your address. 

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  • So they are still working on this with you, but offered you a worth around solution until they do? I guess everyone should always make sure their bills are correct but I don't understand why you seen upset with them.

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  • Yes, they are offering a workaround - a credit to offset the tax.  IF that is done each month, and I don't have to ask for it, then fine, it costs me no extra.  That said,  there is still a problem with the billing, and had I not been aware of that problem (not everyone knows what those charges are, and certainly don't know what jurisdictions they fall under) then the charge would have been there.  I want to see them through on this for the benefit of others, even if my immediate costs are addressed.   So I am not so much "upset", as trying to be clear with them on what the problem IS,  which is the algorithm they are using to determing the billing location.   

    I'm not threatening to leave, nor saying they are less competent than other companies:  What I am saying is that they are a new company and until these glitches are worked out, customers may need to use more caution. 

    And, yes, I do hope they are still working on this.  The people on the support staff seem to be trying,  and are quite nice.   

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  • http://www.ksefocus.com/wordpress-content/uploads/2012/11/mackey-state-tax-notes.pdf

    While searching for info on State Taxes for Wireless, I stumbled across this recent study (Nov 2012).

    http://www.mywireless.org/2012/11/cellphone-taxes-continue-to-rise/

    It links to the actual pdf that is here:  http://www.ksefocus.com/wordpress-content/uploads/2012/11/mackey-state-tax-notes.pdf

     

    Basically details the wireless taxes in all 50 states.  I checked the Texas numbers in the study compared to above posts and they were very close.

    Might be useful to estimate your ting.com regulatory fees before signing up.

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  • I asked the same question (re: Ting's tax rate) after seeing my second bill. The first month looked like any other prepaid service in the US: $1.92 (taxes & fees) on a $21 service plan (M-S-S with 1 device). Virgin Mobile (which is also on the Nationwide Sprint Network) charges the same ($1.90 taxes & fees on a $20 service) --- so far, so good.

    Communications Services Tax: $0.83

    E911 Tax (Wireless): $0.73

    Fed USF Cellular: $0.35

    FCC Regulatory Fee (Wireless): $0.01

    Taxes and Regulatory Fees Total: $1.92

    My second month from Ting, however, was noticeably HIGHER in taxes & fees ($4.26 on a $15 service), while Virgin Mobile remained at exactly the same rate ($1.43 on a $15 service). It means that Ting is charging 28% in taxes & fees on a "purchase" of $15 in services!?! ---

    Communications Services Tax: $2.48

    E911 Tax (Wireless): $0.73

    Fed USF Cellular: $1.04

    FCC Regulatory Fee (Wireless): $0.01

    Taxes and Regulatory Fees Total: $4.26

    According to a Ting customer service agent, "taxes from the previous month's usage get added to the 'deposit' of the upcoming month." Who would have guessed?! You would assume that when you prepay for the service and USE NO MORE than you said you would, you've already paid the right amount. With Ting, you just have to know that you won't know your final charges until you get your bill. :/

    As a point of reference, here is what another prepaid service charges for calls/services on the same network:

    $0.95 for $10

    $1.43 for $15

    $1.90 for $20 (400min)

    $2.86 for $30 (1500min/1500text/30MB data) -- taxes & fees don't change based on your calling pattern or what you do with those voice call minutes!

    $3.80 for $40 (unlimited min/unlimited text/50MB data) -- taxes & fees aren't changing based on your usage pattern...they stay the same month after month.

    And here's something from the IRS and Wikipedia: It looks like since mid-2006, consumers are no longer supposed to be charged the federal tax for 'communications services' by their telephone/wireless companies! The businesses, not the consumers, are to pay the taxes for doing business; but it cannot be charged to consumers under the guise of collecting taxes (for our government). State taxes do vary; but what's listed above is from the same state as my current Ting service, and it's nowhere near what Ting is charging.

    http://www.irs.gov/uac/Telephone-Tax-Refund-Questions-and-Answers-for-Individuals

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_telephone_excise_tax

    Via Wikipedia===IRS Notice 2006-50 also states (in part): Collectors [e.g., telephone companies] are directed to cease collecting and paying over tax under §4251 on nontaxable service that is billed after July 31, 2006, and are not required to report to the IRS any refusal by their customers to pay any tax on nontaxable service that is billed after May 25, 2006. Collectors should not pay over to the IRS any tax on nontaxable service that is billed after July 31, 2006. [....]

    The IRS will deny all taxpayer requests for refund of tax on nontaxable service that was billed after July 31, 2006. All such requests should be directed to the collector [e.g., to the telephone company]. In addition, collectors may repay to taxpayers the tax on nontaxable service that was billed before August 1, 2006, but are not required to repay such tax. [...] Collectors must continue to collect and pay over tax under §4251 on amounts paid for local only service. This action effectively repealed the tax for all but "local-only service" as defined in IRS Notice 2006-50.

    Treasury Secretary John W. Snow stated in a prepared release, "Today is a good day for American taxpayers; it marks the beginning of the end of an outdated, antiquated tax that has survived a century beyond its original purpose, and by now should have been ancient history." Snow also called on the United States Congress "to terminate the remainder of this antique tax by repealing the excise tax on local service as well."===

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  • I don't have a "Communications Services Tax", is it possible that is a state tax?

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  • S Takemitsu: I've checked into this, and I've been told that the tax on the first month is only for the $6 device fee. It's not until the billing cycle ends that we collect the tax on your deposit (if one selected a plan higher than XS, which is 0 MB), and we only collect the amount for the plan you end up falling into (so if you get credited back for going into a lower tier then we only collect the tax for that lower tier). Does that make sense?

    Regarding any taxes you don't believe we should be collecting, we base the taxes we collect off a third-party service that tells us what we need to collect, and we have no reason to believe they've been giving us incorrect information, but please do feel free to open a support request with us so we can investigate if you see a tax we're collecting that you're certain we shouldn't be and we'll definitely look into it.

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  • Re: "I've been told that the tax on the first month is only for the $6 device fee."

    How can that be? $1.92 on $6.00 is a 32% tax rate! Are you sure that Ting taxes line/device fee @32%?

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  • Taxes are based on the individual city/state one lives in. Some are higher than others, but I just checked yours and the amount the various levels of government requires us to collect from you does indeed add up to $1.92 tax on the $6.00 line fee.

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  • SW - perhaps we should blame the individual governments, not Ting.  :)

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  • OK. Good to know! Taking that into consideration...

    $1.92 on $6.00 line fee (32% tax rate charged at the start of the 1st month's service)

    $4.26 on {$15.00 (1st month's usage service) + $1.92 (for the 2nd month's line fee)} ==> taxes & fees for the usage on M-S-S plan (1st month) = @15.6%

    The way these #s are calculating out, there's not much difference between Ting and other big phone companies (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint). But don't we expect something new and refreshing from Ting? It's an MVNO, after all. We expect it to be competitive with the rest of them (Virgin Mobile, Boost, etc).

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  • Well, we can't collect less taxes than the government requires us to collect unless we want certain three-letter agencies to come knocking. :)

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  • Ting was collecting a city tax on me, even though I live in the county. I DID get a credit for the charge, and eventually it was removed (though I nudged them with some assistance from our State Attorney's office of consumer protection...)  They (or the company they use to deal with charges) assumed the zipcode was city.  Took a while to get straightened out.  So yes, it is important to verify that all the charges are legitimate.  If there is a tax being collected, somebody must know to whom the revenues are being disbursed.   There are a few local jurisdictions (hello Baltimore City) where ridonculous  fees are still being assessed.

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  • Why is there sales tax on online cell phone (device) purchases when the items are shipped from another state and Ting doesn't own the network towers, stores, or have any in-state presence of any kind?

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  • We calculate taxes based on your billing address, not the address the items are shipped from. Since we provide the service in the state (even though we don't own the cell towers, we are providing you with access to them) there is no getting around this. Believe me, we looked into this quite thoroughly to make sure we're following all the necessary rules.

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  • For the record, some taxes are set dollar amounts and not a percentage.

    We are looking at some ways to simplify our billing, I certainly understand it can be confusing to understand how we currently do things.

    Finally, I feel I should note that we have always taken the approach of showing all taxes and not having any strange internal fees that many other service providers have. 

    Thanks for all the feedback!

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  • Thanks, Scott.

    I know Ting's additional taxes are much lower than I have seen with other providers.

    I recently moved my home phone to Ting (using Home Phone Connect) because half of my bill was taxes & fees.

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