Texas 9-1-1 Emergency Service Fee and 9-1-1 Equalization Surcharge
EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 2005, THE 9-1-1 EQUALIZATION SURCHARGE RATE CHANGED TO 1%
The 77th Texas Legislature made major changes to the state's 9-1-1 emergency communications laws. This bulletin provides current tax information as well as specific details of procedural changes resulting from the enactment of House Bill 2914.
Effective January 1, 2002, the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts assumed responsibility for administration of the 9-1-1 Emergency Service Fee and 9-1-1 Equalization Surcharge from the Commission on State Emergency Communications (CSEC).
What Are the 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Charges?
Texas imposes three separate 9-1-1 emergency communications charges. Revenue from these charges is used by regional planning commissions, emergency communication districts, and poison control centers in their efforts to establish 9-1-1 emergency service statewide and to provide for automatic number and location identification of wireless 9-1-1 calls.
9-1-1 Emergency Service Fee
In the CSEC program area, the 9-1-1 emergency service fee is collected by telecommunications service providers at a rate of 50 cents per month for each local exchange access line or equivalent local exchange access line, as defined in CSEC Rule 255.4. In addition, if a business service user provides residential facilities, each line that terminates at a residential unit, and that is a communication link equivalent to a residential local exchange access line, is charged the 9-1-1 emergency service fee. (See Texas Health and Safety Code, Section 771.071).
The 9-1-1 emergency service fee may not be imposed on:
- a line to coin-operated public telephone equipment or to public telephone equipment operated by coin or by card reader;
- commercial mobile radio service that provides access to a paging or other one-way signaling service;
- a communication channel suitable only for data transmission;
- a line from a telecommunications service provider to an Internet service provider for the Internet service provider's data modem lines used only to provide its Internet access service and that are not capable of transmitting voice messages;
- a wireless roaming service or other nonvocal commercial mobile radio service;
- a private telecommunications system; or
- a wireless telecommunications connection subject to the 9-1-1 wireless emergency service fee.
9-1-1 Wireless Emergency Service Fee
The 9-1-1 wireless emergency service fee is imposed in an amount equal to 50 cents per month on each wireless telecommunications connection. A wireless telecommunications connection is any wireless communication mobile station that connects a wireless service provider to the local exchange service provider using a number that contains an area code assigned to Texas. The 9-1-1 wireless service fee may not be imposed on any wireline 9-1-1 service. (See Texas Health and Safety Code, Section 771.0711).
9-1-1 Equalization Surcharge
The 9-1-1 equalization surcharge is imposed on each customer receiving intrastate long-distance service, including customers in an area served by an emergency communication district, even if the district is not participating in the regional plan. CSEC Rule 255.1 establishes the rate at which the equalization surcharge is assessed. The current rate is 1 percent of the customer's intrastate long-distance charges each month. The surcharge is applied to the total amount charged for intrastate long-distance service, excluding taxes charged by local, state, and federal authorities. Local, state, or federal taxes do not apply to this surcharge unless otherwise required by law. (See Texas Health and Safety Code, Section 771.072.)
Neither the 9-1-1 emergency service fees nor the equalization surcharge may be imposed on or collected from the state or the federal government.
Reporting Requirements Have Changed
Early in February 2002, and each month thereafter, the Comptroller's office will send the appropriate report form(s) to service providers that are responsible for collecting one or more of the 9-1-1 emergency communications charges. It is the responsibility of service providers that do not receive the report form(s), or do not receive the correct report form(s), to contact the Comptroller's office to obtain the appropriate form(s). Beginning with the January 2002 report period, service providers must file a monthly report, even if no 9-1-1 emergency service fees or surcharges are due. The data provided on each monthly report should include only the fees and/or surcharges actually collected from subscribers during the report period.
New Report Forms
The Comptroller's office has developed four new forms for reporting and remitting 9-1-1 emergency communications charges each month.
Texas 9-1-1 Emergency Service Fee Report-Local Exchange Service Providers/Business Service Users (Form 54-100)
Texas 9-1-1 Emergency Service Fee Report Local Exchange District Supplement (Form 54-101)
Beginning with the January 2002 report filing period, service providers and business service users must use the Texas 9-1-1 Emergency Service Fee Report (Form 54-100) and the Texas 9-1-1 Emergency Service Fee Report Local Exchange District Supplement (Form 54-101) to report and remit emergency service fees collected from customers for local exchange (landline) service. These two forms replace the CSEC's "9-1-1 Service Fee Monthly Remittance Report." The report and the supplement page must be filed together each month.
Texas 9-1-1 (Wireless) Emergency Service Fee Report (Form 54-103)
Beginning with the January 2002 report filing period, wireless service providers must use the Texas 9-1-1 (Wireless) Emergency Service Fee Report (Form 54-103) to report and remit emergency service fees collected from wireless service customers. This form replaces the CSEC's "9-1-1 Wireless Service Fee Remittance Form."
Texas 9-1-1 Equalization Surcharge Report (Form 54-102)
Beginning with the January 2002 report filing period, intrastate long-distance carriers must use the Texas 9-1-1 Equalization Surcharge Report (Form 54-102) to report and remit equalization (and poison control) surcharges collected from their customers. This form replaces the CSEC's "9-1-1 Equalization and Poison Control Surcharge Monthly Remittance Form."
Report and Payment Due Dates
The due date for reporting and remitting the 9-1-1 wireless emergency service fee has changed to the 20th day of the month following the month in which the wireless fee was collected. The first due date for remitting the wireless service fee using the new Comptroller form is February 20, 2002.
The due date for reporting and remitting the 9-1-1 emergency service fee for local exchange (landline) access and the equalization surcharge is the 30th day of the month following the month in which the fee or surcharge was collected. Because the month of February has fewer than 30 days, the first due date for remitting the local exchange service fee or the equalization surcharge using the new Comptroller forms is March 4, 2002.
Service providers may retain an administrative fee of one percent of the gross amount of fees or surcharges reported each month.
Late Penalty and Interest
A late penalty is assessed for failure to remit the fees or surcharges due on or before the due date for the report. If the remittance is postmarked 1 - 30 days late, the penalty is five percent of the net fees or surcharges due. If the remittance is postmarked 31 or more days late, the penalty is 10 percent of the net fees or surcharges due. If the remittance is postmarked 61 or more days late, interest also accrues on the net amount due. For reports due in 2002, the interest rate is 5.75 percent per annum.
Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) and Enrollment in the TEXNET System
Service providers may remit 9-1-1 emergency service fees and/or equalization surcharges by electronic funds transfer (EFT) using the TEXNET system. Taxpayers who previously remitted 9-1-1 emergency communications charges to the CSEC by ACH Debit must now re-enroll in the TEXNET system to continue paying by EFT.
To establish an EFT account with the Comptroller, complete and return or fax the enclosed EFT Enrollment Form (Form 00-107) to the Comptroller. Taxpayers must enroll in the TEXNET system at least two weeks prior to first usage of the system. By November 1, 2002, the Comptroller will notify taxpayers, as appropriate, of the mandatory requirement to remit 9-1-1 emergency communications charges by EFT beginning in January 2003.
For more information, call the TEXNET Hotline at (800) 531-5441, ext. 3-3010, or in Austin, (512) 463-3010, or visit the Electronic Reporting Web page on Window on State Government at www.window.state.tx.us.
Service providers should continue to file reports and remit fees and surcharges collected prior to January 1, 2002, to the CSEC. For questions regarding the remittance of fees or surcharges for periods prior to January 2002, or revenue disbursement information, you may contact the Commission on State Emergency Communications at (512) 305-6911.
For questions regarding collection of the 9-1-1 Emergency Service Fee or the 9-1-1 Equalization Surcharge, please call the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts toll-free, nationwide at (800) 252-5555, or in Austin, call (512) 463-4600.