Up until recently, one of the benefits to prepaid plans and 3rd party wireless resellers was not having to pay all of those Public Utility Commission Fees, State Board of Equalization Fees, and FCC fees. Beginning January 1, 2016, sellers of prepaid wireless products and services are required to collect the new Prepaid Mobile Telephony Services (MTS) surcharge from their customers at the time of the sale and pay those amounts to the Board of Equalization (BOE). Sellers may register online for the new prepaid MTS account beginning December 21, 2015.
Who must register?
If you sell prepaid wireless products and services at retail, in transactions occurring in this state, you must register with the BOE as a prepaid MTS seller, even if you have a seller’s permit. The prepaid MTS account is separate from your seller’s permit account.
Please note: Telecommunication and VoIP service providers/suppliers that sell prepaid MTS products directly to consumers are considered "direct sellers" for purposes of the prepaid MTS surcharge and different registration and reporting requirements apply. See our online industry guide at www.boe.ca.gov/industry/prepaid_mts_surcharge.html#direct.
How do I register?
Starting December 21, 2015, go to our website at www.boe.ca.gov and from the Home page, click the New Registration link (under the Log in link), then select Register a business activity with BOE and follow the prompts.
What is the new prepaid MTS surcharge?
It is a new surcharge that replaces multiple surcharges and fees imposed upon consumers prior to January 1, 2016. The surcharge is imposed as a percentage of the sales price of prepaid wireless cards and services sold in retail transactions occurring in this state and collected by the seller at the time of the sale.
Joel Saltzman has over twenty years of wireless industry experience. He is currently CEO and Chief Wireless Analyst for Dr Wireless.