Emergency Telephone Users Surcharge and Prepaid 911 Surcharge for
Telecommunication Service Suppliers
This program page is for telecommunication service suppliers (including wireless service suppliers) and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers registered and reporting to the BOE under the Emergency Telephone Users Surcharge Program. If you are registered for a Prepaid Mobile Telephony Services Surcharge account, visit the Prepaid Mobile Telephony Services Surcharge Industry Guide.
The term service suppliers will be used throughout the program information and includes:
- telecommunication service providers/carriers,
- telephone corporations,
- VoIP providers,
- prepaid mobile telephony service providers,
- service suppliers and
- direct sellers.
The Board of Equalization administers the Emergency Telephone Users Surcharge Law and the Prepaid Mobile Telephony Services Surcharge Collection Act.
The emergency telephone users surcharge is imposed on amounts paid by every person in the state for intrastate telephone communication service. The service supplier (or billing aggregator authorized by a service supplier) shall collect the emergency telephone users surcharge from each service user and remit to the state the amount of the surcharge.
The prepaid mobile telephony services surcharge is imposed upon consumers in this state as a percentage of the sales price of prepaid mobile telephone services sold in a retail transaction. Service suppliers shall collect the prepaid mobile telephony services surcharge from each consumer at the time of the retail sale and remit to the BOE the prepaid 911 surcharge portion of the prepaid mobile telephony services surcharge. Service suppliers will remit the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) portion of prepaid mobile telephony surcharge to the CPUC and any local charge(s) to the local jurisdiction imposing the charge. Service suppliers or prepaid mobile telephony service (MTS) providers are considered direct sellers if they sell prepaid wireless services directly to consumers in a retail transaction.
- Attention: Wireless Service Companies – New Surcharge on Prepaid Wireless Cards and Services Beginning January 1, 2016
- Emergency Telephone Surcharge Rate
- Senate Bill 1040 Amends the Emergency Telephone Users (911) Surcharge Act (New definition for "toll telephone service" and 911 Surcharge is extended to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services)
- Recent IRS Ruling Does Not Affect California's Emergency Telephone Surcharge
- Are you required to register?
Visit our Registration Information page for definitions of a service supplier and/or direct seller. For more information on both surcharge programs, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.
The Office of Emergency Services (OES) is required to determine the annual emergency telephone users surcharge rate by October 1 and the prepaid 911 surcharge rate by October 15 each year. The rates remain in effect January through December of each year. Each year the BOE will send a notice of rate changes to service suppliers and direct sellers prior to January 1 of the following year.
- Emergency Telephone Users Surcharge Law
- Prepaid Mobile Telephony Services Surcharge Collection Act
- Local Prepaid Mobile Telephony Services Collection Act
If you have questions regarding this program or need to register with the BOE, please contact Special Taxes and Fees at the following address or telephone number:
Special Taxes and Fees, MIC: 88
State Board of Equalization
PO Box 942879
Sacramento, CA 94279-0088