Advertisement
Smart Buying

Fee Relief for Wireless Users

Congress will consider a moratorium on taxes that inflate your cell-phone bill.

If you have cell-phone service through a contract carrier, you are on the hook for a long list of fees. The average combined rate for wireless taxes, fees and surcharges hit a high of 17.2% in mid 2012 -- almost two and one-half times the average sales tax rate charged for other taxable goods and services, says wireless consultant Scott Mackey at KSE Partners.

 

Over the past decade, fiscally challenged governments have piled on rate increases to raise revenue without enacting more high-profile taxes. Mackey thinks the trend is leveling off, although two types of fees continue to rise: local “911” fees, which pay for emergency services, and the federal universal connectivity charge, set by the Federal Communications Commission to assure phone service to all households.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Congress may provide relief in 2014 with a bill that would place a five-year moratorium on taxes that single out wireless services for special treatment. Meanwhile, you could cut the cost of service and avoid most wireless taxation if you buy an unlocked phone and use a month-to-month plan from a prepaid wireless provider, such as Straight Talk Wireless, available at Walmart. (See Cut the Cost of an iPhone in Half.)

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

What Trump's Payroll Tax Cut Will Mean for You
Tax Breaks

What Trump's Payroll Tax Cut Will Mean for You

President Trump issued an executive order to suspend the collection of Social Security payroll taxes. How much could it save you?
August 13, 2020
8 Things You Must Know About Retiring to the Carolinas
retirement

8 Things You Must Know About Retiring to the Carolinas

From the mountains to the beaches, North Carolina and South Carolina offer retirees plenty of incentives.
August 14, 2020
7 Surprisingly Valuable Assets for a Happy Retirement
happy retirement

7 Surprisingly Valuable Assets for a Happy Retirement

If you want a long and fulfilling retirement, you need more than money. Here are the most valuable retirement assets to have (besides money), and how …
August 3, 2020

Recommended

Kamala Harris's Tax Policy Proposals
Politics

Kamala Harris's Tax Policy Proposals

Since she could be a heartbeat away from the presidency next year, you might want to know where Kamala Harris stands on taxes.
August 15, 2020
Stimulus Check Relief for Spouses of Deceased People is Coming
Coronavirus and Your Money

Stimulus Check Relief for Spouses of Deceased People is Coming

The IRS will be sending new stimulus checks to widows and widowers who didn't get their original payment.
August 15, 2020
Veterans with Children Get Second Chance for Extra $500 Stimulus Check
Coronavirus and Your Money

Veterans with Children Get Second Chance for Extra $500 Stimulus Check

The IRS set a new deadline for VA benefit recipients who didn't get an extra stimulus check payment for dependent children.
August 14, 2020
Social Security Recipients Get More Time to Request Extra $500 Stimulus Check
Coronavirus and Your Money

Social Security Recipients Get More Time to Request Extra $500 Stimulus Check

The IRS is reopening the registration period for seniors who didn't receive the additional payment for dependent children earlier this year.
August 14, 2020