What are they?

Communications taxes in Virginia include:

  • 5% Communications Sales tax on telecommunications services 
  • 75ȼ State E-911 tax for landline and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOiP) phones
  • 94ȼ Postpaid Wireless E-911 tax for mobile phones
  • 63ȼ Prepaid Wireless E-911 tax for mobile phones
  • $1.26 Landline telephone and cable TV franchise right of way fees 

These taxes and fees all appear as line items on your bill. Communications sales tax supports the Virginia Relay Center, a telephone relay service for the hearing impaired, as well as programs in Virginia cities, towns and counties. The E-911 taxes and surcharge, and right-of-way fees, are distributed to Virginia localities.

What telecommunication services are taxed?

Services subject to the tax include, but are not limited to:

  • Landline, wireless and satellite telephone services (including, but not limited to local, intrastate, interstate and international service) including VOiP;
  • Teleconferencing services;
  • Private communications services;
  • "Push to talk" services;
  • Pager and beeper services;
  • Automated or partially automated answering services;
  • Facsimile services;
  • 800 number services;
  • Telegraph, telegram, telex and teletypewriter services;
  • Cable television (including but not limited to basic, extended, premium, pay-per-view, video on demand, digital, high definition, video recorder, music services and fees for additional outlets); and
  • Satellite television and satellite radio.

What telecommunications services are not taxed?

  • Information services (including electronic publishing services, web hosting services, 900 number services, alarm monitoring services, check guaranty services, credit card guaranty services and database search services);
  • Live operator answering services;
  • Internet access service, electronic mail service, electronic bulletin board service, or similar services that are incidental to Internet access, such as voice-capable email or instant messaging;
  • Digital products delivered electronically, such as software, downloaded music, ring tones and reading materials; and
  • Over-the-air radio and television service broadcast without charge;
  • Coin-operated communications services;
  • Provision of air-to-ground radiotelephone services;
  • Installation or maintenance of wiring or equipment on customers' premises (may be subject to retail sales and use tax);
  • Sale or rental of tangible personal property (may be subject to retail sales and use tax);
  • Directory and other advertising;
  • Bad check charges;
  • Charges for billing and collection services;
  • Charges for customers on any federal military bases or installations when a franchise fee is payable to the federal government. 

Prepaid vs. postpaid wireless E-911 fees

Prepaid Wireless E-911 Fee
  • 63ȼ per sale of prepaid wireless calling services, calling cards, etc.
  • If more than 1 service is purchased at a time, the fee applies to each. 
  • Report on your sales tax return.
Postpaid Wireless E-911 Surcharge
  • 94ȼ per month
  • Applies to monthly wireless service account
  • Report on your CT-75 communications taxes return

The prepaid and postpaid wireless e-911 fees support 911 operations throughout Virginia. A portion of these fees also supports Virginia’s crisis call center.

How to register

How to file and pay

File the Virginia Communications Taxes return, Form CT-75. Returns are due on the 20th of the month following the close of the filing period, even if there is no tax due.

File Form CT-75 electronically. If you are unable to file and pay electronically, please submit an Electronic Filing Waiver Request.

Additional resources