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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on Nov 11, 2014

How much do you really know about your phone bill? A recent analysis of national phone bills reveals that as much as 35 percent of your payment may be attributed to taxes and fees – in Arizona, the amount is no less than 12 percent.

Take a closer look at your phone bill breakdown and you’re likely to see 9-1-1 fees, franchise taxes, utility sales taxes and other ambiguous surcharges – does anyone really know how MCTD, TRS or PUC translate?

Consider this: on average, customers will pay out just over 17 percent of their phone bill in taxes. These taxes are divided between federal, state and local taxes and other associated fees. In certain states throughout the US, average charges run as high as 24 percent of the total bill, according to a report issued by the Tax Foundation.

The considerable tax rate is even higher among certain cities, with some residents paying nearly 35 percent. These higher rates are large in part attributed to per-line fees and other additional charges.

The bottom line is that wireless customers are responsible for paying a higher tax and fee rates, nearly twice as much as the average sales tax rate among other goods and services.

The breakdown works like this – initially, there is a 5.82 percent federal charge, partly in place to excise tax and additionally address Universal Service Fund charge. The way your final bill appears ultimately depends upon what area of the country you call home.

After accounting for the federal government’s levy, taxes and fees make up anywhere from 22 percent to 24 percent of your phone bill in states like Washington, Nebraska, New York, Florida and Illinois.

The matter is further complicated when you consider that surcharges are seldom identical from one state to another – the billing breakdown can change dramatically across area codes.

For an interactive list, visit CNN Money.