CPUC User Fee

Commission determines annually the appropriate CPUC fee to be paid by the telecommunications carriers. This fee is based on the telecommunications carrier's gross intrastate revenue excluding inter-carrier sales, equipment sales and directory advertising. The purpose of this fee is to finance the Commission's annual operating budget.

Telecommunications carriers with annual gross intrastate revenues in excess of $750,000 are required to remit this fee on a quarterly basis by the 15th of April, July, October, and January. Telecommunications carriers with annual gross intrastate revenues of $750,000 or less shall remit the fee on an annual basis on or before January 15. Questions about this fee should be directed to CPUC's Budget Office at 415-703-2470.

Quarterly and Annual Fee Statements and Instructions for all telecommunications utilities are available.


Use of TUFFS to pay User Fee


Beginning January 1, 2016, telecommunications utilities must report and pay their user fees via the online Telecommunications and User Fee Filing System (TUFFS) program, the existing system with which telecommunications corporations already report and pay their Public Purpose Program Surcharges.  Paper copy user fee statements and check payments will no longer be accepted by the Commission and will be returned to the sender uncashed; payments will only be accepted electronically via the TUFFS system.


Telecommunications utilities will use their existing TUFFS log-in information. Only one TUFFS login is issued per utility, and if you have trouble accessing, please contact telcosurcharge@cpuc.ca.gov for assistance.


Late Payment Penalty


In addition, effective with the period ending March 31, 2016, the TUFFS system will systematically enforce the late payment penalty of 25% of user fees due on delinquent payments.  The late payment penalty is set forth in Public Utilities Code Section 405.

For the period January 1 to March 31, 2018 payment of User Fees is due on April 15th. User fees are due on the 15th of the month following the end of the user fee period.  User fee payments not received (or delinquent) for more than 30 days are subject to a late payment penalty of 25% of User Fee amounts due.  This will be automatically calculated by the TUFFS system.  The thirty-first (31st) day after April 15 is May 16.  Payments made after May 16 must include the late payment penalty. 

Please note that this late payment penalty only applies to user fees.  Existing interest penalties on surcharge payments will continue unchanged.


Reporting of Prepaid Wireless Revenues (Updated 1/12/18)

Through the December 2015 reporting period, prepaid wireless revenue was combined with all other intrastate wireless revenue are reported by a carrier to calculate user fee payments.

Beginning January 1, 2016 prepaid wireless revenues, from both direct and indirect sales, and the resulting user fees were required to be reported and remitted separately from all other intrastate wireless revenues. The Mobile Telephony Service Surcharge (MTS) combined the six surcharges with the user fee to create one rate to be paid by prepaid wireless carriers. For 2016, the MTS User Fee portion of the MTS rate was 0.21% of intrastate prepaid wireless revenue (Resolution T-17504).

For the year 2017, Resolution T-17542 set the MTS User Fee at 0.17% of the total sales price of prepaid wireless service, rather than only the intrastate portion, as the rate has now been pre-adjusted by an intrastate allocation factor. Resolution T-17542 provides additional detail for the Mobile Telephony Services surcharge rates for 2017.

For the year 2018, Resolution T-17579 set the MTS User Fee at 0.26% of the total sales price of prepaid wireless service. Resolution T-17579 provides additional detail for the Mobile Telephony Services surcharge rates for 2018.


New Standard User Fee Rate

Effective January 1, 2017, the standard user fee rate for all telecommunications carriers was adopted at 0.30% of gross intrastate revenues (Resolution M-4830).

Effective January 1, 2018, the standard user fee rate for all telecommunication carriers was adopted at 0.33% of gross intrastate revenues. Resolution M-4832 outlines the Public Utilities Commission Utilities Reimbursement Account for 2018 User Fees in more detail. 

For general user fee questions or concerns regarding this notice, please contact userfees@cpuc.ca.gov.


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