911 Fees Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When are retailers required to begin collecting the prepaid wireless 911 fee?
A: Effective January 1, 2014, a 2% fee shall be collected on the sale of prepaid wireless 911 airtime, cards, and other related products as passed by the 2013 Legislative Assembly.
Q: Our business does not sell or recharge prepaid wireless mobile phones or prepaid phone cards. Does the prepaid wireless 911 fee apply to us?
Q: Is the prepaid wireless 911 fee only collected by retailers normally selling telecommunication services?
A: No, any retailer selling prepaid wireless airtime, cards, and other related products will be required to collect the 911 fee from their customers. Retailers required to collect the fee may include; gas and convenience stores, grocery stores, department stores, drug stores, electronics stores, farm supply centers, and home and garden centers.
Q: Our business already has a sales tax account; do we need to apply for a prepaid wireless 911 fee account?
A: Yes, an application must be completed since the 911 fee is reported on a separate return and should not be included on the sales tax return. An application can be found on our web site, http://www.nd.gov/tax/salesanduse/forms/withholdsalesapplicationpaper.pdf.
Q: Our business operates several different locations in North Dakota; do we have to apply for more than one account to report the prepaid wireless 911 fees?
A: No, your business may register to file a consolidated return for all the locations under one account or each location can register and separately file a return.
Q: Is the prepaid wireless 911 fee paid on the same filing frequency as my sales tax?
A: Yes, both returns should be filed on the same filing schedule unless you request the 911 fee be paid more or less often.
Q: Our business currently does not have a sales tax account and needs to register for an account to report the prepaid wireless 911 fee, which application should we use?
A: A business selling prepaid wireless services will also need to apply for a sales tax account. An application for both accounts is available on our web site.
Q: We already have a sales tax account but are beginning to sell prepaid wireless services, which application needs to be completed?
A: Since you have a sales tax account, go to our web site http://www.nd.gov/tax/salesanduse/forms/withholdsalesapplicationpaper.pdf and complete an application to indicate your intent to sell prepaid wireless telecommunication services.
Q: Can my prepaid wireless 911 fee return be filed electronically?
A: Not at this time. Currently all returns must be filed on paper. An electronic filing process will be available in the future. Your business will be notified when this service is available
Q: Is the 2% prepaid wireless 911 fee in addition to the traditional 911 fees collected by telecommunication providers?
A: No, the 2% prepaid wireless 911 fee replaces the traditional 911 fee.
Q: Our company sells wireless and landline telecommunication services and previously collected a 911 fee, are these fees still required to be reported?
A: Telecommunication providers should continue to collect and remit the traditional 911 fees related to wireless and landline services.
Q: Is the retailer compensated for the associated expense to create an accounting system to collect and report the 911 fee?
A: Yes, effective January 1, 2014, retailers are allowed to retain 100% of the fee collected during the first three months of sales activity. However, the retailer must file a return to report the sales activity and amount of the fee retained during the first three months.
Q: Does the retailer that collects the prepaid wireless 911 fee receive compensation for collecting and reporting the fee to the tax commissioner?
A: Yes, the retailer is eligible for a 3% compensation discount (no maximum) on each timely filed and paid return.
Q: Is the 2% prepaid wireless 911 fee the liability of the seller?
A: No, the liability for the fee is on the consumer, but the seller is liable to remit all 911 fees collected from the consumer. The seller must itemize the 911 fee on the customer's receipt.
Q: Should the 2% prepaid wireless 911 fee be included in the base when computing another tax, fee, or surcharge imposed by this state?
A: No, if the prepaid wireless 911 fee is separately stated on the customer's invoice or receipt it should not be included in any other calculation of state and local taxes or other fee or surcharge.
Q: Is the 2% prepaid wireless 911 fee computed on the bundled sales price when several products or services are sold for one nonitemized price?)
A: Yes, if the retailer does not itemize the sale of a wireless device and prepaid wireless airtime, the 2% fee must be computed on the entire selling price.
Q: Can a retailer exclude a minimal amount of prepaid wireless service sold with a prepaid wireless device when sold for one nonitemized price?
A: Yes, an amount of service is considered minimal when sold in denominations of either ten minutes or less, or five dollars or less and the retailer may elect to exclude the application of the 2% fee on the bundled amount.
Q: Does the retailer charge the 911 fee on sales made to federal, state, local, and Native American governments?
A: No, sales made to these entities are exempt from the prepaid wireless 911 fee and sales tax.
Q: Does the prepaid wireless 911 fee apply to Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services?
A: No, VoIP services should not have the 911 fee applied unless the service is prepaid and sold in denominations that decline with use.