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Learn about the taxes, surcharges, and fees

We apply taxes, surcharges, and fees to your AT&T services based on rates decided by federal, state, and local laws.


Taxes, surcharges, and fees on your bill

A surcharge is an extra charge for something other than what you are buying. Here are some, but not all, of the taxes, fees, and surcharges you may see on your bill:
  • Federal Universal Service Fee (USF)
  • State Telecom Relay Service Surcharge
  • State Universal Service Charge
  • State Cost Recovery Charge
  • Regulatory Cost Recovery Charge
  • Sales and use taxes
  • E911 Charges
  • Administrative Fees
  • Cost Assessment Charge
  • Other AT&T surcharges
Good to know: Charges depend on the type of tax, who is taxing, and your physical address (place of primary use), which may not be the same as your billing address. Learn how to move your service to a new address.

Federal USF - customer responsibility
The Federal USF makes sure everyone has affordable telecommunications service. It also has discounted services for schools, libraries, and rural healthcare facilities. We may bill this fee to recover Federal USF contribution costs from customers buying interstate service. You’ll see this on your bill in the Surcharges & Fees section.

Each quarter, the government updates the total Federal USF we’re required to pay. So we may also adjust the amount we recover from our customers each quarter. Your USF won’t be more than the rate set by the government, and, in many cases, it may be lower.

State Telecom Relay Service Surcharge
Your state may use this surcharge to fund services like relay calls for people with hearing or speech impairments.  

Regulatory Cost Recovery Charge
We pay certain government fees so we can give you service. We charge you the Regulatory Cost Recovery Charge to cover some of those costs. This isn’t a tax or charge that the government requires us to collect. 

This charge may change if our costs and the government fees change. Parts of the Regulatory Cost Recovery Charge include the Federal Regulatory Fee, Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fee, North American Numbering Plan Fee, and support for Local Number Portability administration.

State Cost Recovery Charge
We pay certain taxes to state governments give you service. We charge you the State Cost Recovery Charge as a percentage-based fee to cover some of these costs. This isn’t a tax that the state requires us to collect.

AT&T Phone Administrative Fee
The Phone Administrative Fee is a per-line, per-month fee. It isn’t a tax or charge that the government requires us to collect. It’s a fee that helps defray certain costs associated with providing phone services. 

Cost Assessment Charge
The Cost Assessment Charge is a per-line, per-month fee. It isn’t a tax or charge that the government requires us to collect. It helps us recover the costs of supporting and administering government programs and requirements.

See all fees

Tax exemption

AT&T tax exemption web tool
Use the AT&T tax exemption web tool to find out if you can claim a tax exemption (permission not to pay), apply for a tax exemption, and get answers to tax exemption questions. You can also apply for changes to your exempt status.

To follow the laws and regulations, you must give us any required information before we can exempt your taxes from a bill, invoice, or sales transaction.

For federal exercise tax exemption, contact the IRS.

Federal Universal Service Fund exemption
If you believe you qualify for a Federal USF exemption, send your request to

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