Understanding Your Taxes, Fees, And Surcharges

Telecommunications services are some of the most taxed services by governments and municipalities on the federal, state, and local level. In addition, there are fees on your bill, which are not government-mandated charges. This can result in an invoice with line items that are hard to understand. To assist you in understanding the taxes, fees and surcharges that may appear on your invoice, we have compiled the attached information from a variety of governmental and non-governmental sources. The amounts of these various surcharges will vary depending upon the state, county and municipality where you have services.


Tax / Fee / surcharge Description
Federal Excise Tax

A federal tax levied on consumers for the use of certain taxable local telecommunications services. 

911 Surcharge

This surcharge goes to compensate state and local public agencies operating your local emergency telephone systems. 

Carrier State Recovery Fee

A monthly fee to recover the company’s expenses for state regulatory fees and programs, as well as connection and account servicing charges. This charge is not mandated by any governmental authority. 

Gross Receipt
Taxes Sales Taxes School District Taxes 

The names and amounts of these fees vary greatly and depend upon your location. Each state, county and municipality has special taxes that every telecommunication provider is required to collect on their behalf. 

NY State Excise Tax
Metro Commuter Transportation District
NY MTA Surcharge On Excise

New York Franchise 184, 186, 184a, and 186c taxes levied on local phone carriers operating in New York whose primary business is providing local service. Section 184a and 186c taxes are levied only on services provided in the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District. 

Federal Universal Service Fund 

A charge to recover the company's contribution to Federal Universal Service Funds, which provide for affordable telecommunications servicesforrural regions, low-income residential customers, and schools and libraries. 


A fee to recover the company's mandatory contribution to the NY state regulatory body. 

Network Infrastructure Fund 

This fee funds the continued construction, maintenance and enhancement to the telecommunications and broadband data network CornerStone uses to service its customers. 

ILEC Recovery Surcharge 

A fee charged by the Company due to increased wholesale costs and the administrative costs to collect and remit taxes, charges and regulatory fees. This charge is not mandated by any governmental authority. 

OSS Recovery Surcharge 

The charge covers investments in network enhancements, wholesale network access and maintenance associated with those systems and accesses. This charge is not mandated by any governmental authority. 

Carrier Cost Recovery Fee 

This fee covers the costs per line associated with access to local, regional, and long distance networks for national and international calls, and origination and termination of calls through the local network. This charge is not mandated by any governmental authority. 

Local Number Portability 

When you change providers, you can keep the same telephone number.  This fee is charged to help cover the costs of the systems, which allow that service. 

Service Account Fee

A monthly service account fee imposed each month per account. 

There is an billing option offered if  “paperless billing and pre-authorized bill pay” is selected which would discount this charge from your invoice.  Some additional advantages to viewing your invoices online is the ability to compare past invoices as well as the ability to submit online support tickets or inquire into possible billing issues. 

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