What is MTS Tax?

Effective January 1, 2016, California law requires all sellers of prepaid wireless service to collect certain taxes, fees and mandatory surcharges from prepaid consumers at the time of purchase. The taxes, fees and surcharges will be combined into a single Prepaid Mobile Telephony Surcharge or “Prepaid MTS Surcharge.” The Prepaid MTS Surcharge rate will be applied to the purchase price each time you pay for prepaid wireless service on or after January 1, 2016.

The Prepaid MTS Surcharge may include the following taxes, fees and surcharges that will be collected by the seller on behalf of state and local governments:

  • Utility User Tax: A voter-approved tax imposed by some cities and counties to fund local services. Tax rates will vary depending on the locality where the service is purchased;
  • Local 911 Emergency Telephone Service Access Charge: A voter-approved tax imposed by some cities to support local 9-1-1 emergency response systems;
  • California Public Utilities Commission Telecommunications All-End-User Surcharges and User Fee: Mandated charges that support various public programs and Public Utilities Commission activities;
  • California 911 Emergency Telephone Users Surcharge: A mandatory statewide surcharge imposed by the California Office of Emergency Services to support the 9-1-1 emergency response system.

To help you understand how your total charges could increase with the new Prepaid MTS Surcharge, please note the following example. If you were to purchase $20.00 in prepaid wireless service on or after January 1, 2016 in a locality where the Prepaid MTS Surcharge rate is 10%, you will pay $20.00 for service plus a $2.00 surcharge (i.e., $20.00 x 10%) for a total of $22.00. The amount of the Prepaid MTS Surcharge will vary because some cities and counties do not impose a Utility User Tax or a local 911 Charge and cities and counties with Utility User Taxes or local 911 Charges have different rates.

You can find additional information about the Prepaid MTS Surcharge by going to the following website:https://www.boe.ca.gov/industry/prepaid_mts_surcharge.html#mts_rates.

For additional information about this new law, you can contact our customer care at 888-777-0446.