Telecommunications Companies That Must Register With the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Revenue

Most telecommunications entities must register with the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission, which has jurisdiction over the access providers and services for intrastate local, toll, and local exchange carriers.

This does not include cellular or wireless businesses or long-distance companies.

The Registration Process

  • Pennsylvania has a series of registrations that may have to take place. Business name registration is first, where the entity may have to apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN).
    • All businesses subject to sales tax must register for a sales tax license online at PABizOnline, or through Form PA-100, PA Enterprise Registration. There is no charge for a sales tax permit.
    • The notice takes about 7 to 10 business days, but the business may be conducted before receiving the permit. The permit must be renewed every five years.
    • Payments must be filed electronically by phone or online through e-TIDES. Business entities may also use the business TeleFile phone system. A quarterly earnings report must also be filed.
  • Telecommunications companies or independent parties providing these services within the Rights of Way of the city must submit the following for a license:
    • License application
    • Proof of general liability insurance with the city as the indemnified
    • Bond amount (dependent on the scope of license work)
    • Detailed CAD drawings of 24” x 36”
  • Once these documents are complete, they should be sent to:
    • City of Pittsburgh, Department of Mobility and InfrastructureCity-County Building, Room 301414 Grant StreetPittsburgh, PA 15219
  • Telecommunications providers are required to have an inspection before, during, and after construction.
    • The process takes about two weeks after the application has been reviewed. All payments should be addressed to “Treasurer, City of Pittsburgh” and must be in the business entity's name.

Renewal for Pennsylvania Telecommunications Companies

While there is no renewal process in place for telecommunications companies in Pennsylvania, businesses holding a Certificate of Public Convenience who want to terminate their authority must file an Application for Approval of Abandonment or Discontinuance of Service.

Telecommunications Gross Receipts Tax includes mobile telecommunications services and interstate landline calls that originate or terminate in Pennsylvania, taxes at 5%.

Telecom Tax Exemptions in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, there are a few exemptions from tax for telecommunications services, including:

  • Basic local telephone services purchased for residential use by the purchaser.
  • Line charges purchased for residential use.
  • Sales for resale of a telecommunications service.
  • Service purchased by a charitable organization with an exemption number.
  • Service purchased by a governmental entity.
  • Service mostly used in manufacturing, processing, farming, public utility, agriculture, horticulture, floriculture, and dairying.
  • Entities exempt from the Pennsylvania Sales and Use Tax.
  • Resale exemption.

How to File a Voluntary Disclosure Agreement in Pennsylvania

Business entities and individuals who have tax obligations that have not been met may be able to get their debt and penalties waived by participating in the Voluntary Disclosure Program. Entitles seeking entrance into this program must come forward voluntarily and must not be registered with the department or have any collections action taken against their business.

There are certain parameters to the program:

Non-Corporate Tax

Individuals who qualify under this umbrella are only responsible for satisfying their liabilities for up to three years plus the current year. All penalties for these years are waived and any liability for additional years will be forgiven if the taxpayer files all the necessary returns and remits payment.

Corporate Tax

The outstanding liabilities up to five years plus the current year are the taxpayer’s responsibility. Penalties will be waived and additional years are forgiven if all the requirements are met.

What do entities and individuals need to enter the program?

  • The date when the liabilities began.
  • Detailed information on the entity’s business dealings in Pennsylvania and information on the services and products sold.
  • Detailed explanation on why the entity failed to file and have their taxes paid. 
  • Proof that there has been no contact by the department about the tax liability.
  • Business Activities Questionnaire (DAS-77).

The information will be reviewed by a Liaison Officer and the decision will be determined by the Voluntary Disclosure Committee. If approved, the entity must sign two copies of the agreement and return them within 45 days.

The agreement will then be signed by the Department of Revenue and returned along with instructions on how to file and remit payment. Noncompliance will void the agreement and all assessments and penalties will be reinstated.

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Conquer Pennsylvania’s Telecom Tax Requirements Once and For All

If you need assistance with registration, reporting, or remitting Pennsylvania taxes, contact the experts at FAStek.

Our experienced agents have worked with business entities in Pennsylvania and can help you conquer your communications taxes and fees.