This letter contains information about a new fee that you may be required to collect in connection with the sale of certain items including prepaid wireless phone cards and prepaid cell phones.
On or after January 1, 2013, retailers selling prepaid wireless telecommunications service (as defined below) within Connecticut must collect a prepaid wireless E 9-1-1 fee from the consumer on the purchase of prepaid wireless telecommunications service.
E 9-1-1 Fee Assessment
Legislation passed in 2012 (2012 Conn. Pub. Acts 153) levies a prepaid wireless E 9-1-1 fee on each purchase of prepaid wireless telecommunications service from a retailer. The fee is equal to the monthly fee the Connecticut Public Utility Regulatory Authority (PURA) assesses on other telecommunications service subscribers, which presently is 67¢. The fee is recalculated by PURA annually.
Prepaid wireless telecommunications service means a wireless telephone service that a consumer pays for in advance, that allows the consumer to access the E 9-1-1 system by dialing 9-1-1, and that is sold in predetermined units or dollars that decline with use.
Prepaid wireless telecommunications includes prepaid wireless phone cards, recharge or refill authorization codes, and prepaid cell phones or other prepaid wireless devices preloaded with airtime minutes. Prepaid wireless telecommunications service does not include wireless telecommunications services that are not paid for in advance.
Collecting E 9-1-1 Fees
Retailers must collect the E 9-1-1 fee on each retail purchase of prepaid wireless telecommunications service occurring in Connecticut on or after January 1, 2013. A retail transaction subject to the E 9-1-1 fee occurs in this state if the retail transaction is subject to Connecticut sales tax.
A retail transaction includes any purchase of prepaid wireless telecommunications service from a seller for any purpose other than resale. Retailers maintaining certificates of resale for sales tax purposes are not required to obtain additional documents for purposes of documenting purchases for resale with regard to the E 9-1-1 fee.
In addition, each separately priced prepaid wireless item sold is subject to the fee. For example, if two prepaid phone cards are sold to a consumer, the retailer must collect E 9-1-1 fees from the consumer in the amount of $1.34 (67¢ for each retail transaction).
Retailers must separately state the E 9-1-1 fee on the invoice, receipt, or other sales document given to the purchaser, or post such amount conspicuously on the retailer’s Internet website or on a sign conspicuously displayed to the consumer at the point of sale. Separately stated E 9-1-1 fees are not included in the sales price subject to sales and use tax. A retailer failing to separately state the E 9-1-1 fee on the invoice, receipt or other similar document given to the purchaser is liable for the fee.
Reporting E 9-1-1 Fees
Retailers must use Form OP-153, Prepaid Wireless E 9-1-1 Fee Return, to report and remit the E 9-1-1 fee to DRS and to calculate a 1% administrative fee retailers are allowed to keep. Form OP-153 is available on the Department of Revenue Services (DRS) website. Taxpayers are encouraged to file Form OP-153 and remit the fees electronically through the Taxpayer Services Center at www.ct.gov/TSC.
Retailers collecting the E 9-1-1 fee will follow the same payment procedures in place for the sales and use tax. Monthly sales and use tax filers that collect the E 9-1-1 fee will report and pay the fee each month. All quarterly and annual sales tax filers that collect the E 9-1-1 fee will report and pay the fee on a quarterly basis. Seasonal and four-week sales tax filers that collect the E 9-1-1 fee will report and pay the fee at the same time they file their sales tax return.
More information on the E 9-1-1 fee will be posted on the DRS website at www.ct.gov/DRS. You can find forms and other tax information there, or you can call our Taxpayer Services Division at
1-800-382-9463 (Connecticut calls outside the Greater Hartford calling area only) or 860-297-5962 (from anywhere) during business hours, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Thank you for your cooperation.