Cell phone taxes and fees increased across the US this year


Taxes, fees, and governmental surcharges on wireless consumers increased in 2018, now amounting to 19.1%, up from 18.5%, of a customer’s bill, according to a recent study from The Tax Foundation.

An American household with four wireless phones paying $100 per month for wireless voice service can expect to pay about $229 per year in wireless taxes, fees, and surcharges—up from $221 in 2017.

The increase comes from a jump in state and local wireless tax fees, which increased from 12.1% to 12.5% of the customer’s bill. The Federal Universal Service Fund surcharge also increased from 6.3% of a typical cell phone bill to 6.6%.

There is variation across the U.S. in how much a state charges in taxes on wireless services, and Louisiana is in the middle of the pack, at No. 31, with 10.5% of the bill going to state and local government charges. However, where Louisiana stands out, says The Tax Foundation, is that its wireless services taxes are only about 1.1% more than the states’ average sales tax rate. Other states, due, in part, to lower sales tax rates, tend to have larger discrepancies.

Wireless consumers will pay an estimated $16.1 billion in taxes, fees, and government surcharges to federal, state, and local governments in 2018.

Read the full report.

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