AT&T charges taxes on ETF?

fabianvs

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Original poster
Jun 12, 2009
143
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FL
I wanted to unlock my new iPhone 6 so I could use it internationally, online "Ryan Blackham" wanted to charge me $390.34 after taxes for an ETF. After going to my local store they charged me the regular $325 and said there is NEVER A TAX ON ETF. Good job AT&T. Awful company.

 

fabianvs

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Original poster
Jun 12, 2009
143
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FL
I know this has nothing to do with Apple, I just feel this forum would get coverage for it. There is no such thing as a tax of ETF, the guy was just trying to overcharge me. Doesn't matter what state you live in.
 

617aircav

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Jul 2, 2012
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I know this has nothing to do with Apple, I just feel this forum would get coverage for it. There is no such thing as a tax of ETF, the guy was just trying to overcharge me. Doesn't matter what state you live in.
ive paid tax on etf on sprint before.
 

rui no onna

macrumors G3
Oct 25, 2013
8,340
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I never heard of a tax on a fee like that. Isn't like taxing a tax?? :eek:
The Early Termination Fee is a fee. It's not a tax. States (and even localities) have varying laws on taxation of cellphone service and fees so yes, final bill will be dependent on local tax laws.
 

mtneer

macrumors 68030
Sep 15, 2012
2,886
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The ETF is a service that is being provided to enable you to unlock your phone. So, yeah I see no reason why it should be tax exempt.
 

fabianvs

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Original poster
Jun 12, 2009
143
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FL
That's about a 20% tax, I've never heard of that ;) I still stick to my theory that he was trying to overcharge me. The person in the store had NEVER heard of anything like this.
 

rmhop81

macrumors 68020
Apr 4, 2005
2,249
103
Dallas, TX
That's about a 20% tax, I've never heard of that ;) I still stick to my theory that he was trying to overcharge me. The person in the store had NEVER heard of anything like this.
the other interesting thing...if you have corporate discount...they apply that to ETF also. Which seems weird....good for people as it's cheaper but still.

So they can discount it if you have corporate FAN, plus they charge tax.
 

fabianvs

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Original poster
Jun 12, 2009
143
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FL
the other interesting thing...if you have corporate discount...they apply that to ETF also. Which seems weird....good for people as it's cheaper but still.

So they can discount it if you have corporate FAN, plus they charge tax.
I actually do have that discount, got no special treatment though, just a little extra tax -- atleast tried to. :p
 

kerrikins

macrumors 65816
Sep 22, 2012
1,202
436
That's about a 20% tax, I've never heard of that ;) I still stick to my theory that he was trying to overcharge me. The person in the store had NEVER heard of anything like this.
Reps don't even usually have the ability to 'manually' charge you tax, it's automatically taken care of in the system. How did you pay in the store? Up front, or did you have it billed to your account?
 

blevins321

macrumors 68030
Dec 24, 2010
2,760
79
Winnipeg, MB
No it is taxing a fee!

Next year our government will likely try to tax the taxes. This is not a carriier thing it is a state and federal thing and it will only get worst until we do something about it.
This isn't the government's issue. It's the carriers.' The gov just has a fee on all wireless charges. Whether or not those charges are a monthly plan or a one-time charge, it's still just a taxable figure for them. They have nothing to do with charging the fee - that is entirely a carrier choice.
 

rui no onna

macrumors G3
Oct 25, 2013
8,340
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This isn't the government's issue. It's the carriers.' The gov just has a fee on all wireless charges. Whether or not those charges are a monthly plan or a one-time charge, it's still just a taxable figure for them. They have nothing to do with charging the fee - that is entirely a carrier choice.
Carriers have ETFs to guarantee that they'll be able to recover whatever amount they subsidized on that "$199/299/399/499" smartphone. Besides on MSVP, those on 2-year contracts pay higher taxes, too (based on $40/line) compared to those on BYOD/NEXT (based on $15-25/line). Just so happens when you pay the ETF, you pay the service tax in lump sum.

This is another reason I prefer BYOD/NEXT instead of contract. I live in SoCal so I get taxed on the device twice with a 2-year contract: 1) sales tax on full MSRP upfront, and 2) tax on service fees which include the subsidy recovery.
 

fabianvs

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Original poster
Jun 12, 2009
143
66
FL
Reps don't even usually have the ability to 'manually' charge you tax, it's automatically taken care of in the system. How did you pay in the store? Up front, or did you have it billed to your account?
Yeah, up front. just a seperate charge from my monthly bill.
 

Newtons Apple

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Mar 12, 2014
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Jacksonville, Florida
This isn't the government's issue. It's the carriers.' The gov just has a fee on all wireless charges. Whether or not those charges are a monthly plan or a one-time charge, it's still just a taxable figure for them. They have nothing to do with charging the fee - that is entirely a carrier choice.
The TAX on the FEE is NOT the carrier's choice!

That is all!:mad:
 

rui no onna

macrumors G3
Oct 25, 2013
8,340
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https://twitter.com/ATTCustomerCare/status/515581812597592064

'We don't charge taxes on the ETF, you will have taxes to the bill itself but not for the ETF. Sorry for this misinfo. ^CiscoR'
I don't know how they can even guarantee that since tax laws vary by state, county, municipality, etc.

Fulfillment of Service Commitment. You have received certain benefits from us in exchange for your Service Commitment, which may include, but are not limited to, a subsidized wireless device. There are two alternative ways to fulfill your Service Commitment. You can pay for the Services described in your Customer Service Summary for the term of your Service Commitment, or you can terminate your Agreement prior to the end of your Service Commitment and pay an Early Termination Fee (“ETF”). The Early Termination Fee is not a penalty, but rather is an alternative means for you to perform your obligations under the Agreement that partially compensates us for the fact that the Service Commitment on which your rate plan is based was not completed.
The fee is not a penalty and will likely be considered a service charge so taxation is dependent on state and local laws.
 
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