What are all the various charges on your bill that aren’t your actual phone service? Here are some common phone bill terms that you may see on your bill, with some explanation. The exact amount of your bill may vary from month to month because these taxes and fees are subject to change often (and they usually do!). It’s not uncommon for taxes and fees to add 20% to 40% to your base bill, and vary depending on your billing address. Most of these items will be similar with any legitimate phone company that is properly meeting legal requirements.

Cost Recovery Surcharge

Cost Recovery Surcharge is not a government tax, but a fee collected and retained to recover government compliance costs, charges imposed by other carriers for calls between our customers and theirs, and by 3rd parties for network facilities and services we purchase to provide service.

Emergency 911 Fees

The 911 Emergency Service Fee provides funding for the operation of 911 emergency telecommunications services in your area. Emergency personnel must have the capability to identify the location of a caller when they dial 911. The fee, which is applied per access line, funds communications systems that support emergency and quick response police, fire and ambulance services with identification of phone number and location. Customers pay for this service and other 911 communication costs through state and county 911 surcharges. Not all counties have the 911 system yet, but may collect for future implementation.

Federal Universal Service Fund and Universal Service Fee

This fee is used to recover contributions Servant Voice is required to make to the federal Universal Service Fund, which provides support to promote access to telecommunications services at reasonable rates for those living in rural and high-cost areas, income-eligible consumers, rural health care facilities, and schools and libraries. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sets the applicable USF rate on a quarterly basis and is subject to change.

Network Access Charge

Access Charge per FCC Order / CLEC Network Access / Interstate Subscriber Line Charge. This charge, also known as the Federal Subscriber Line Charge (SLC), is an FCC-approved fee that enables local telephone companies to recover a portion of the costs of connecting customers’ homes or businesses to the telephone network, so those customers may receive and/or initiate interstate calls.

State and Local Taxes

State sales tax is imposed by your state government. The services that the tax is applied to vary by state. Local tax is imposed by local jurisdictions including cities, counties, special purpose districts and transit authorities. If you’re exempt from sales tax, please let us know and provide us with your tax exemption certificate, we can’t remove any sales taxes until we have the form on file, and we can’t refund any sales taxes collected prior to receiving the certificate. In Indiana, this is form ST-105, but there is usually a similar form in each state that has a sales tax.