Emergency Telephone Users Surcharge

New Information – The California Legislature recently passed Senate Bill (SB) 96 (Stats. 2019, ch. 54), ), which changes the collection requirements by sellers and service suppliers of the Emergency Telephone Users (911) Surcharge that provides access to the 911 emergency system. Instead of a percentage-based surcharge, the 911 Surcharge will change to a flat rate amount that is collected by sellers and service suppliers as follows:

Beginning January 1, 2020

  • Sellers of prepaid mobile telephony services (MTS) will collect the 911 Surcharge on each purchase of prepaid MTS for each retail transaction in California.
  • Service suppliers will collect the 911 Surcharge on each access line a service user subscribes to for use in California each month or partial month.

We will be updating this webpage with additional information on SB 96 as it becomes available – please check back periodically for updates.

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration administers the Emergency Telephone Users Surcharge program in cooperation with the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES).

The emergency telephone users surcharge (ETUS) is imposed on amounts paid by every person in the state for intrastate telephone communication service including Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and wireless services. The service supplier (or billing aggregator authorized by a service supplier) shall collect the ETUS from each service user and remit to the state the amount of the surcharge.

The term service suppliers will be used throughout the program information and includes:

  • telecommunication service providers/carriers,
  • telephone corporations, and
  • VoIP providers.

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