Public Utilities and Carriers
Prepaid Wireless Charge Act
R.I. Gen. Laws § 39-21.2-4
§ 39-21.2-4. E-911 surcharge.
(a) Amount of charge. The prepaid wireless E-911 charge is hereby levied at the rate of two and one-half percent (2.5%) per retail transaction.
(b) Collection of charge. The prepaid wireless charge shall be collected by the seller from the consumer with respect to each retail transaction occurring in this state. The amount of the prepaid wireless charge shall be either separately stated on an invoice, receipt, or other similar document that is provided to the consumer by the seller, or otherwise disclosed to the consumer.
(c) Application of charge. For purposes of subsection (b) of this section, a retail transaction that is effected in person by a consumer at a business location of the seller shall be treated as occurring in this state if that business location is in this state, and any other retail transaction shall be treated as occurring in this state if the retail transaction is treated as occurring in this state for purposes of chapter 18 of title 44.
(d) Liability for charge. The prepaid wireless charge is the liability of the consumer and not of the seller or of any provider, except that the seller shall be liable to remit all prepaid wireless charges that the seller collects from consumers as provided in § 39-21.2-5, including all such charges that the seller is deemed to collect where the amount of the charge has not been separately stated on an invoice, receipt, or other similar document provided to the consumer by the seller.
(e) Exclusion of charge from base of other taxes and fees. The amount of the prepaid wireless charge that is collected by a seller from a consumer, if such amount is separately stated on an invoice, receipt, or other similar document provided to the consumer by the seller, shall not be included in the base for measuring any tax, fee, surcharge, or other charge that is imposed by this state, any political subdivision of this state, or any intergovernmental agency, including, but not limited to, the tax imposed under chapter 18 of title 44, nor be included within the telephone common carrier's gross earnings for the purpose of computing the tax under chapter 13 of title 44.
(f) [Deleted by P.L. 2019, ch. 88, art. 2, § 9.]
(g) Bundled transactions. When prepaid wireless telecommunications service is sold with one or more other products or services for a single, non-itemized price, then the percentage specified in subsection (a) of this section shall apply to the entire non-itemized prices unless the seller elects to apply the percentage (1) If the amount of prepaid wireless telecommunications service is disclosed to the consumer as a dollar amount, the dollar amount, or (2) If the retailer can identify the portion of the price that is attributable to the prepaid wireless telecommunications service, by reasonable and verifiable standards from its books and records that are kept in the regular course of business for other purposes, including, but not limited to, non-tax purposes, the portion.
However, if a minimal amount of prepaid wireless telecommunications service is sold with a prepaid wireless device for a single, non-itemized price, then the seller may elect not to apply the percentage specified in subsection (a) of this section to such transaction. For purposes of this paragraph, an amount of service denominated as ten (10) minutes or less, or five dollars ($5.00) or less, is minimal.
History of Section.
P.L. 2010, ch. 23, art. 9, § 12; P.L. 2018, ch. 47, art. 7, § 10; P.L. 2019, ch. 88, art. 2, § 9; P.L. 2020, ch. 79, art. 1, § 14.