Understanding the Taxes Imposed on Your Telecom Bills

Written by Karen Thatcher

This issue containsrepparttar second part of a two-part article on regulated and non-regulated charges and taxes placed on them. Unfortunatelyrepparttar 133542 subject of taxes as it applies to your telecom bills is broad enough to warrant a lengthy discussion.

In Part I, we coveredrepparttar 133543 regulated and non-regulated charges that will appear on your bills. This issue will describerepparttar 133544 different kinds of taxes that you will find, what they are paid for and who is exempt from them.

Taxes and tax-like charges can add as much as 25%, and more, to local telephone charges in some jurisdictions. This is an area to which no rules are universally applicable, so all generalities have exceptions. That being said, there are three "rules-of-thumb" which can be useful in understandingrepparttar 133545 taxes placed on your bills.

1. Generally,repparttar 133546 four types of taxes include service fees and charges; franchise tax or surcharges; sales use or special taxes; and federal excise tax.

2. Taxes are not uniformly imposed on all services.

3. Some categories of users are exempt from some taxes. Let's take a closer look at specific taxes you'll encounter on your bills.

Specific Service Fees and Charges These charges may be imposed to support 911 services, operation ofrepparttar 133547 Public Utility Commission (California), provision of special equipment for handicapped persons (California), Universal Service Funds, poison control centers (Texas), etc. The Presubscribed Interexchange Carrier Charge (PICC) would also fall into this category. Such charges may be calculated on a per-line or percentage basis. These fees apply universally and there are no exceptions.

Franchise Taxes or Surcharges

Usually local items, these charges can and may be imposed byrepparttar 133548 county or state governments. Most often these are calculated as a percent ofrepparttar 133549 items that apply, (various local service charges, additional calls or message unit charges, and installation charges), but they may be calculated on some other basis. This tax is called a variety of names, including franchise fee, city tax, municipal charge, surcharge, additional charge (AC), gross receipts tax, etc. As usual, this varies from state to state.

Sales, Use or Special Taxes

What is a Customer Service Record or "CSR"?

Written by Robert Potter

No telecommunications audit or cost-reduction study is complete without a thorough review of local service records - commonly referred to asrepparttar "Customer Service Record" or "CSR".

While a simple review of telecom bills can reveal cost-saving savings opportunities, Customer Service Records contain very specific information and data. Most suppliers will release a copy of a CSR when requested by a customer or auditing firm on their behalf.

What is a CSR? A CSR is a copy of how your telephone records appear inrepparttar 133541 telephone company's database. It contains information about each separate line charge (i.e. type of service, federal access charge, number portability charge, calling blocks onrepparttar 133542 line, 911 charge, etc.) that encompasses your monthly service charge on your bill.

In addition, a CSR revealsrepparttar 133543 service location ofrepparttar 133544 account,repparttar 133545 billing address, additional directory listings, PIC designations, hunting order, features that are being charged and on which line these features appear, calling plans that may include monthly charges, and taxes applied to each ofrepparttar 133546 items onrepparttar 133547 record.

"Customer Service Record" isrepparttar 133548 most commonly used term forrepparttar 133549 internal record of your account. Others may include a "2733" or "PBX/Key/Multiline" record. (SBC) Some LECS userepparttar 133550 term "Service Record" or "Billing Services Record" while others have no record at all. These would includerepparttar 133551 Mom and Pop telephone companies and CLECS. They can usually type them manually withrepparttar 133552 information you request.

Universal Service Order Codes (USOC) Customer Service Records are written in codes, commonly called USOC, or Universal (or Uniform) Service Order Codes. These codes are literally a foreign language to most, so allow yourself plenty of time to become familiar withrepparttar 133553 USOC codes used by your local carrier. A more in-depth discussion of USOC codes will be discussed in a future issue of this newsletter. At TelCon Associates, we've developed a database of over 10,000 USOC codes. CONTACT US for information on this valuable auditing resource.

The Four Main Sections ofrepparttar 133554 CSR

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