Laws, Regulations and Annotations


Business Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2023

Emergency Telephone Users Surcharge Annotations

Proration of Flat Rate Service Charges or Monthly Recurring Charges

Since flat rate service charges, also known generally as monthly recurring charges, are both intrastate and interstate in nature, they must be prorated to determine the intrastate portion of the total charge, and the Emergency Telephone Users (911) Surcharge should only be applied to the intrastate portion. Of the two types of monthly recurring charges that must be prorated to determine the amount of their intrastate component, the first is flat rate charges (variously named) that the service supplier bills, generally in connection with its various calling plans, to its customers, the service users, each billing period and that do not vary based on the number, length, or time elapsed of any toll calls made during the billing period. The second type is charges (also variously named) that are intended to reimburse the service supplier for amounts it pays to local telephone companies for access to and use of local telephone lines so that its customers can make intrastate, interstate, and international long distance phone calls. Both types of charges:

  • Are billed by service suppliers as part of their various billing plans and must be paid by their customers as a precondition to the customer being able to make long distance calls, whether intrastate, interstate, or international.
  • Are billed to a customer in the exact same amount each month, whether or not the customer makes any long distance calls during the billing period and whether or not all long distance calls made during the billing period are intrastate or interstate or some combination of each.
  • Are set forth in the service supplier's federal tariffs, filed with the Federal Communications Commission, not with the California Public Utilities Commission.

However, monthly recurring flat charges that have been historically associated with the provision of local telephone service are not subject to proration. In addition, the flat charge made by service suppliers for recoupment of their contribution to the Federal Universal Service Fund should not be prorated because it does not have an intrastate component and is not subject to the 911 Surcharge. 1/8/10.