Usage, Taxes and Regulatory Fees: FAQ

BACKGROUND: Fonality* delivers two types of products and services: standalone advanced communications software and systems, and cloud-based software bundled with telecommunications services.

The standalone products and services (Fonality Professional, Fonality Enterprise, PBXtra* and trixbox*) allow you to bring your own telephone carrier and integrate it into the Fonality system. Fonality does not provide telecommunications services (calls, minutes, phone numbers, etc.) for these types of products and services.

The bundled services (Fonality Connect*, Fonality Enterprise Hosted and UNBOUND*) consist of software bundled with telecommunications services – Fonality provides your calls, minutes of use, phone numbers and additional services.

These two types of products and services are subject to different types of taxes and fees.


Standalone Products and Services: Fonality Professional, Fonality Enterprise, PBXtra and trixbox are subject to state and local sales taxes based on the location the equipment is shipped to (or, in the case of software, the address of the purchaser). This will appear on your invoice as "Sales Tax" and will be identified by the jurisdiction and tax rate.

Fonality is required to collect sales taxes in every state. Rates typically range from 5-10% depending on the location.

Bundled Products and Services: Fonality Connect, Enterprise Hosted and UNBOUND are subject to taxes and fees as a telecommunications service. There are over 200,000 distinct taxes in over 7,000 taxing jurisdictions in the states, cities, and counties that must be calculated and remitted to various different taxing agencies in the US, including the Federal government and states and local governments, as well as various special assessments for schools, baseball stadiums and other public works.

The total taxes and fees typically range from 14-20% of your bill, and as much as 33% in some jurisdictions. The percentage of taxes and fees may change on a month-to-month basis as the Federal and state and local rates change.

The following are examples of some of the taxes and fees that you may see on your invoice:

Sales Tax: Most states collect sales tax on telecommunications services, equipment and software as well as on some services.

Federal Program Fee: The Federal Program Fee is the contribution Fonality incurs as a service provider to the Universal Service Fund (USF), which is mandated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as part of the 1996 Telecommunications Act. USF applies to funding for Universal Service programs, which may include:

  • - Affordable telecommunications services to schools, libraries, and rural health care facilities
  • - Subsidies for local service in high-cost areas and low-income households
  • - Telecommunications services for individuals with hearing and speech disabilities

The Federal Program Fee applies to all charges for interstate (from one state to another) and international telephone calls, not including taxes, for all 50 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and other U.S. territories. This fee may be increased or decreased up to four times a year (once per quarter), depending on the needs of the Universal Service programs

State 911 and 411 Fees: Fonality collects and remits State e911 fees—even if your telephone service has been paid up to a year in advance—to cover state- and/or community-wide mandated costs associated with emergency response services of local jurisdictions. Emergency services fees can vary depending on where you are located, and can vary from state to state and from municipality to municipality.

Note that unlike many other carriers, Fonality does not charge an e911 "recovery fee" in addition to themandated state and local taxes.

Other mandated taxes and fees: Fonality collects and remits various other state and local taxes and fees as required, based on your location. This may include special assessments such as "baseball taxes", "crime management taxes" and other assessments.

Fonality acts as an intermediary for the various federal, state and local, and utility agencies, and collects legislatively imposed taxes and fees from its customers. These taxes and fees are then remitted to the various government bodies.


For UNBOUND only, a Regulatory Recovery Fee of 5% of all monthly recurring charges will be charged monthly to offset costs incurred by Fonality in complying with inquiries and obligations imposed by federal, state and municipal regulatory bodies/governments and the related legal and billing expenses. This fee is not a tax or charge required or assessed by any government. The Regulatory Recovery Fee will apply to every UNBOUND phone number assigned, including toll free and virtual numbers.

This fee is not charged on Fonality Connect or Enterprise Hosted.


Fonality Connect and UNBOUND include unlimited calls, subject to the limitations in our Terms and Conditions. You will see charges on your bill for usage that falls outside of these limits, including:

International Call Charges: When Customer dials an International PSTN phone number or mobile phone number, charges may apply regardless of whether the party on the other line answers the call. Calls made by a Customer to an International mobile or premium rate international telephone number may result in higher toll charges. International rates vary by destination country, city, and band, and are subject to change by Fonality from time-to-time without prior notice. You will be charged for all calls to any international destination, excluding Inclusive Countries, in full-minute increments at Fonality’s then-current rate as posted at Note that certain limitations apply to Customer’s ability to place calls to certain international destinations and types of phones, including but not limited to, satellite phones. Contact for details or to make arrangements to pre-pay for such services.

Excessive Usage: Some Fonality plans include only a specific number of minutes-of-use. Other plans offer unlimited minutes of PSTN calls ("Unlimited Plans"). Unlimited plans cover reasonable business use of Customer only. See the applicable Terms and Conditions for details. In either case, you may see charges on your bill related to usage in excess of your plan.


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