VoIP E911 Tax Increase

The US senate has just passed a bill to raise taxes on E911 in Washington. Hardly any surpirse there as taxes are going up left, right and centre around the world.

E911 is the emergency phone provisioning which allows people with problems to be quickly located by the emergnecy services by address. However the tax increase, effective on january 1, 2011, will also effect Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services.

VoIP is defined as real-time, two-way voice communication that requires a broadband connection and Internet protocol-compatible customer premises equipment. VoIP permits users to receive and terminate public switched telephone network (PSTN) calls.

The Substitute Senate Bill 6846 authorized a 5-cent increase of state E911 tax and a 20-cent increase of county E911 tax.

These taxes usually apply to land lines and cell phones but have now been extended to interconnected VoIP phone services. Subscribers will pay the taxes to their telephone providers.

The tax applies only to the number of VoIP lines on an account that are capable of simultaneous unrestricted outward calling to the PSTN.

Only Clark and Yakima counties in Washington are not applying the full increase to the county E911 taxes, charging 50 cents instead of 70 cents, while Yakima is not applying the tax to VoIP services at all.

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