Laws, Regulations & Annotations
Business Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2015
Emergency Telephone Users Surcharge Law
CHAPTER 2. THE SURCHARGE.
Article 1. Imposition of the Surcharge
(1) Intrastate telephone communication service in this state commencing on July 1, 1977.
(2) VoIP service that provides access to the "911" emergency system by utilizing the digits 9-1-1 by any service user in this state commencing on January 1, 2009. The surcharge shall not apply to charges for VoIP service where any point of origin or destination is outside of this state.
(b) (1) Notwithstanding Section 41025, charges not subject to the surcharge may be calculated by a service supplier based upon books and records kept in the regular course of business, and, for purposes of calculating the interstate revenue portion not subject to the surcharge, a service supplier may also choose a reasonable and verifiable method from the following:
(A) Books and records kept in the regular course of business.
(B) Traffic or call pattern studies representative of the service supplier's business within California.
(C) For VoIP service only, the VoIP safe harbor factor established by the FCC to be used to calculate the service supplier's contribution to the federal Universal Service Fund. The FCC safe harbor factor in effect for VoIP service on September 1 of each year shall apply for the period of January 1 through December 31, inclusive, of the next succeeding calendar year for purposes of this method. At such time as the FCC establishes a safe harbor factor for the federal Universal Service Fund for VoIP service that is greater than 75 percent for interstate revenue or abolishes the safe harbor factor applicable to VoIP service, this method shall become void and of no effect, in which case a VoIP service supplier may use an alternative method approved in advance by the board, which shall be available to all VoIP service suppliers. The FCC safe harbor factor applicable to VoIP service, as described in this subparagraph, is used solely as a mechanism to calculate the charges not subject to the surcharge for VoIP service and is not necessarily reflective of the intrastate portion of VoIP service. The use of the FCC safe harbor factor authorized by this subdivision shall not be interpreted to permit application of any intrastate requirement, other than the surcharge imposed under this part, upon VoIP service suppliers.
(2) Any method chosen by a service supplier shall remain in effect for at least one calendar year.
(3) If a service supplier reasonably relies upon books and records kept in the regular course of business or any documentation that satisfies the reasonable and verifiable method, then the service supplier's determination of the portion of the billed amount attributable to services not subject to the surcharge shall be rebuttably presumed to be correct. The service supplier's choice of books and records or other method and surcharge billing practice shall also be rebuttably presumed to be fair and legal business practices.
(4) It is the intent of the Legislature that the provisions of subparagraph (C) shall not be considered to be a precedent for the application of the surcharge or any other tax or fee where a person is required to collect a tax or fee imposed upon another.
(c) The surcharge imposed shall be at the rate of one-half of 1 percent of the charges made for such services to and including November 1, 1982, and thereafter at a rate fixed pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 41030).
(d) The surcharge shall be paid by the service user as hereinafter provided.
(e) The surcharge imposed shall not apply to either of the following:
(l) In accordance with the Mobile Telecommunications Sourcing Act (Public Law 106–252), which is incorporated herein by reference, to any charges for mobile telecommunications services billed to a customer where those services are provided, or deemed provided, to a customer whose place of primary use is outside this state. Mobile telecommunications services shall be deemed provided by a customer's home service provider to the customer if those services are provided in a taxing jurisdiction to the customer, and the charges for those services are billed by or for the customer's home service provider.
(2) To any charges for VolP service billed to a customer where those services are provided to a customer whose place of primary use of VolP service is outside this state.
(f) For purposes of this section:
(1) "Charges for mobile telecommunications services" means any charge for, or associated with, the provision of commercial mobile radio service, as defined in Section 20.3 of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as in effect on June 1, 1999, or any charge for, or associated with, a service provided as an adjunct to a commercial mobile radio service, that is billed to the customer by or for the customer's home service provider, regardless of whether individual transmissions originate or terminate within the licensed service area of the home service provider.
(2) "Customer" means (A) the person or entity that contracts with the home service provider for mobile telecommunications services, or with a VoIP service provider for VoIP service, or (B) if the end user of mobile telecommunications services or VoIP service is not the contracting party, the end user of the mobile telecommunications service or VoIP service. This paragraph applies only for the purpose of determining the place of primary use. The term "customer" does not include (A) a reseller of mobile telecommunications service or VoIP communication service, or (B) a serving carrier under an arrangement to serve the mobile customer outside the home service provider's licensed service area.
(3) "Home service provider" means the facilities-based carrier or reseller with which the customer contracts for the provision of mobile telecommunications services.
(4) "Licensed service area" means the geographic area in which the home service provider is authorized by law or contract to provide commercial mobile radio service to the customer.
(5) "Mobile telecommunications service" means commercial mobile radio service, as defined in Section 20.3 of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as in effect on June 1, 1999.
(6) "Place of primary use" means the street address representative of where the customer's use of the mobile telecommunications service or VoIP service primarily occurs, that must be:
(A) The residential street address or the primary business street address of the customer.
(B) With respect to mobile telecommunications service, within the licensed service area of the home service provider.
(7) (A) "Reseller" means a provider who purchases telecommunications services or VoIP service from another telecommunications service provider or VoIP service and then resells the services, or uses the services as a component part of, or integrates the purchased services into, a mobile telecommunications service or VoIP service.
(B) "Reseller" does not include a serving carrier with which a home service provider arranges for the services to its customers outside the home service provider's licensed service area.
(8) "Serving carrier" means a facilities-based carrier providing mobile telecommunications service to a customer outside a home service provider's or reseller's licensed area.
(9) "Taxing jurisdiction" means any of the several states, the District of Columbia, or any territory or possession of the United States, any municipality, city, county, township, parish, transportation district, or assessment jurisdiction, or any other political subdivision within the territorial limits of the United States with the authority to impose a tax, charge, or fee.
(10) "VoIP service provider" means that provider of VoIP service with whom the end user customer contracts for the provision of VoIP services for the customer's own use and not for resale.
(g) The amendments made to this section by the act that added this subdivision shall become operative upon the enactment of that act, except that subdivisions (a) and (b) of this section, as amended, shall become operative on January 1, 2009.
History.—Stats. 1978, Ch. 352, effective July 4, 1978, substituted "1979" for "1978" in the second paragraph. Stats. 1979, Ch. 906, effective September 22, 1979, changed "1979" to "1982" and changed "this" following "Article 2 of" to "the". Stats. 2001, Ch. 638 (SB 896), reletterd first sentence as subdivision (a), second sentence as subdivision (b) and third sentence as subdivision (c), substituted "and thereafter at . . . with Section 41030)." for "at such a . . . the chapter thereafter." in new subdivision (b), added new subdivisions (d) and (e) and subparagraphs (e)(1) through (e)(9) inclusive, effective January 1, 2002, but operative August 1, 2002. Stats. 2008, Ch. 17 (SB 1040), in effect May 21, 2008, added "both of the following" after "in the state for", numbered part of subdivision (a) as paragraph (1), and added paragraph (2) to subdivision (a); added new subdivision (b); relettered former subdivisions (b) and (c) as (c) and (d), respectively; relettered former subdivision (d) as (e), added "The surcharge imposed shall not apply to either of the following: (1)" after "(e)", substituted "Public Law" for "P.L.", deleted "the surcharge imposed under this section does not apply" after "herein by reference,", and added paragraph (2) to the new subdivision (e); relettered former subdivision (e) as (f), added "or with a VoIP service provider for VoIP service," after "mobile telecommunications services,", added "or VoIP service" twice after "mobile telecommunications service", added "or VoIP communication service" after "mobile telecommunications service" and added "mobile" after "to serve the" in the third sentence of paragraph (2) in subdivision (f); added "or VoIP service" in paragraph (6) of subdivision (f); added "With respect to mobile telecommunications service," after "(B)" in paragraph (6) of subdivision (f); substituted "Services" for "services" after "purchases telecommunications", added "or VoIP service" twice to subparagraph (A) in paragraph (7) of subdivision (f); added paragraph (10) to subdivision (f); and added subdivision (g).