TITLE V
TAXATION

CHAPTER 82-A
COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES TAX

Section 82-A:2

    82-A:2 Definitions. –
As used in this chapter, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
I. "Amount paid" means the amount charged to the taxpayer's service address in this state regardless of where such amount is billed or paid.
II. "Commissioner" means the commissioner of the department of revenue administration.
III. "Communications services" means services for transmitting, emitting, or receiving signs, signals, writing, images, sounds or intelligence of any nature by any electromagnetic system capable of 2-way communication and includes, without limitation, messages or information transmitted through use of local, toll and wide area telephone service; private line services and networks, whether leased, rented or owned; channel services; telegraph services; teletypewriter services; cable television; computer exchange services; mobile telecommunications services; prepaid wireless telecommunications services; VoIP; facsimile services; specialized mobile radio; stationary 2-way radio; paging services; or any other form, whether stationary, portable or mobile, of 2-way communications; or any other transmission of messages or information by electronic or similar means, between or among points by wire, cable, fiber-optics, laser, microwave, radio, satellite or similar facilities. "Communications services" shall not include:
(a) Value added services in which computer processing applications are used to act on the form, content, code and protocol of the information for purposes other than transmission;
(b) Purchases of communications services by a communications services provider for use as a component part of the service provided by him to the ultimate retail consumer who originates or terminates the taxable end-to-end communications, including carrier access charges, right of access charges, charges for use of inter-company facilities, and all communications services resold in the subsequent provision of, used as a component of, or integrated into end-to-end communications services;
(c) The one-way transmission of radio or television programming, by cable, broadcast, satellite, microwave or similar facility, which is made available generally to any person able to receive such transmission, together with the interaction, if any, of such person required for the selection of such programming other than by use of the same facility by which such transmission was received; or
(d) Internet access.
IV. "Department" means the department of revenue administration.
V. "Gross charge" means the amount paid for communications services and for all services and equipment provided in connection therewith by a retailer, valued in money whether paid in money or otherwise, including cash, credits, services and property of every kind or nature, and shall be determined without any deduction on account of the cost of such communications services, the cost of materials used, labor or service costs or any other expense whatsoever. "Gross charges" for private communications service shall include charges apportioned to New Hampshire in accordance with RSA 82-A:4-c. In case credit is extended, the amount thereof shall be included only as and when paid. However, "gross charge" shall not include:
(a) Any amounts added to a purchaser's bill because of a charge made pursuant to the tax imposed by this chapter, or the tax imposed by Section 4251 of the United States Internal Revenue Code;
(b) Charges for a sent collect communication service received outside of the state;
(c) Charges for leased time on equipment or charges for the storage of data or information for subsequent retrieval or the processing of data or information intended to change its form or content. Such equipment includes, but is not limited to, the use of calculators, computers, data processing equipment, tabulating equipment or accounting equipment and also includes the usage of computers under a time-sharing agreement;
(d) Charges for customer equipment, including such equipment that is leased or rented by the customer from any source, wherein such charges are disaggregated and separately identified from other charges;
(e) Charges for services which are not provided in connection with originating or receiving communications services and which are not necessary for or directly related to the provision of communications services, to the extent that the charges for such services are disaggregated and separately identified from other charges on the customer's bill. In instances where the retailer does not separately list charges for taxable and non-taxable communications services, such charges shall be subject to the taxes imposed by this chapter, unless the retailer can reasonably identify charges not subject to such tax from its books and records kept in the ordinary course of business and provide verifiable data as to the calculation of the tax to the department upon request. A retailer calculating the tax on the basis of its books and records shall provide the taxpayer with an explanation of the calculation of the tax upon request;
(f) Charges for communications services and all services and equipment provided in connection therewith between a parent corporation and its wholly owned subsidiaries or between wholly owned subsidiaries, when the tax imposed under this chapter has already been paid to a retailer and only to the extent that the charges between the parent corporation and wholly owned subsidiaries or between wholly owned subsidiaries represent expense allocation between the corporations and not the generation of profit for the corporation rendering such service;
(g) [Repealed.]
(h) Bad debt. For the purposes of this paragraph, bad debt means any portion of a debt that is related to a purchase at retail for which gross charges are not otherwise deductible or excludable that has become worthless or uncollectible, as determined under applicable federal income tax standards. If the portion of the debt deemed to be bad is subsequently paid, the retailer shall report and pay the tax on that portion during the reporting period in which the payment is made; and
(i) Charges for Internet access.
VI. "Interstate communications services" means all communications services that either originate or terminate outside this state.
VII. "Intrastate communications services" means all communications services that originate and terminate within this state.
VIII. "Person" means any natural individual, firm, trust, estate, partnership, association, joint stock company, joint venture, corporation or a receiver, trustee, guardian or other representative appointed by order of any court; the federal and state governments and their agencies and departments, including state universities created by statute; or any county, city, town, school district or other political subdivision of this state.
IX. "Purchase at retail" means the acquisition, consumption or use of communications services through a sale at retail.
X. "Retailer" means and includes every person engaged in the business of making sales at retail as defined in this chapter. The department may, in its discretion, upon application, authorize the collection of the tax hereby imposed by any retailer not maintaining a place of business within this state, who, to the satisfaction of the department, furnishes adequate security to insure collection and payment of the tax. Such retailer shall be issued, without charge, a permit to collect such tax. When so authorized, it shall be the duty of such retailer to collect the tax upon all of the gross charges for communications services in this state in the same manner and subject to the same requirements as a retailer maintaining a place of business within this state. The permit may be revoked by the department at its discretion. For purposes of the tax imposed by this chapter on prepaid wireless telecommunications service, "retailer" has the same meaning as "seller."
XI. "Retailer maintaining a place of business in this state", or any like term, means and includes any retailer having or maintaining within this state, directly or by a subsidiary, an office, distribution facilities, transmission facilities, sales office, warehouse or other place of business, or any agent or other representative operating within this state under the authority of the retailer or its subsidiary, irrespective of whether such place of business or agent or other representative is located here permanently or temporarily, or whether such retailer or subsidiary is licensed to do business in this state.
XII. "Sale at retail" means the transmitting, supplying or furnishing of communications services and all services and equipment provided in connection therewith for a consideration to persons other than the federal and state governments and their agencies and departments, including the state university system created by statute, and any county, city, town, school district or other political subdivision of this state, to the extent, in each case, such communications services are for their own use.
XIII. "Service address" means:
(a) The location of communications services equipment to which a taxpayer's call is charged and from which the communications services originate or terminate, regardless of where the call is billed or paid.
(b) In the event the location in subparagraph (a) is unknown, service address means the origination point of the signal of the telecommunications services first identified by either the seller's telecommunications system or in information received by the seller from its service provider, where the system used to transport such signals is not that of the seller.
(c) If the location in subparagraph (a) and (b) are unknown or in the event this may not be a defined location, as in the case of mobile telephones, paging systems, maritime systems, and the like (except for air-to-ground radiotelephone service as defined in section 22.99 of title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations in effect on June 1, 1999), service address shall mean the location of a taxpayer's place of primary use.
XIV. "Taxpayer" means a person who individually or through his or her agents, employees or permittees uses communications services in this state and who incurs a tax liability under this chapter. For purposes of the tax imposed by this chapter on mobile telecommunications services, "taxpayer" has the same meaning as "customer."
XV. "Charges for mobile telecommunications services" means any charge for, or associated with, the provision of commercial mobile radio service, as defined in section 20.3 of title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations as in effect on June 1, 1999, or any charge for, or associated with, a service provided as an adjunct to a commercial mobile radio service, that is billed to the taxpayer by or for the taxpayer's home service provider regardless of whether individual transmissions originate or terminate within the licensed service area of the home service provider.
XVI. "Customer," when used in relation to mobile telecommunications services, means the person or entity that contracts with the home service provider for mobile telecommunications service, or, if the end user of mobile telecommunications service is not the contracting party, the end user of the mobile telecommunications service, provided, however, that this clause only applies for the purpose of determining the place of primary use. "Customer" does not include a serving carrier under an arrangement to serve the customer outside the home service provider's licensed service area.
XVII. "Enhanced zip code" means a United States postal zip code of 9 or more digits.
XVIII. "Home service provider" means the facilities-based carrier or reseller with which the taxpayer contracts for the provision of mobile telecommunications services.
XIX. "Licensed service area" means the geographic area in which the home service provider is authorized by law or contract to provide commercial mobile radio services to the taxpayer.
XX. "Mobile telecommunications service" means commercial mobile radio service, as defined in section 20.3 of title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations as in effect on June 1, 1999.
XXI. "Place of primary use" means the street address representative of where the taxpayer's use of the telecommunications service primarily occurs, which must be:
(a) Either the residential street address or the primary business street address of the taxpayer; and
(b) In the case of mobile telecommunications services, within the licensed service area of the home service provider.
XXII. "Serving carrier" means a facilities-based carrier providing mobile telecommunications service to a taxpayer outside the home service provider's licensed service area.
XXIII. "Paid calling service" means the communications service obtained by making a payment on a call-by-call basis either through the use of a credit card or payment mechanism such as a bank card, travel card, credit card, calling card, or debit card, or by charge made to a telephone number which is not associated with the origination or termination of the communications service.
XXIV. "Private communications service" means a communications service that entitles the taxpayer to exclusive or priority use of a communications channel or group of channels between or among termination points, regardless of the manner in which such channel or channels are connected, and includes switching capacity, extension lines, stations, and any other associated services that are provided in connection with the use of such channel or channels.
XXV. "Internet" means collectively the myriad of computer and telecommunications facilities, including equipment and operating software, which comprises the interconnected world-wide network of networks that employ the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, or any predecessor or successor protocols to such protocol, to communicate information of all kinds by wire or radio.
XXVI. "Internet access":
(a) Means a service that enables users to connect to the Internet to access content, information, or other services offered over the Internet;
(b) Includes the purchase, use, or sale of communications services by a provider of a service described in subparagraph (a) to the extent such communications services are purchased, used, or sold:
(1) To provide such service; or
(2) To otherwise enable users to access content, information, or other services offered over the Internet;
(c) Includes services that are incidental to the provision of the service described in subparagraph (a) when furnished to users as part of such service, such as a home page, electronic mail, and instant messaging (including voice- and video-capable electronic mail and instant messaging), video clips, and personal electronic storage capacity;
(d) Does not include voice, audio, or video programming, or other products and services (except services described in subparagraph (a), (b), (c), or (e)) that utilize Internet protocol or any successor protocol and for which there is a charge, regardless of whether such charge is separately stated or aggregated with the charge for services described in subparagraph (a), (b), (c), or (e); and
(e) Includes a homepage, electronic mail, and instant messaging (including voice- and video-capable electronic mail and instant messaging), video clips, and personal electronic storage capacity that are provided independently or not packaged with Internet access.
XXVII. "Prepaid wireless telecommunications service" means "prepaid commercial mobile radio service," as that term is defined in RSA 106-H:2, VIII-b.
XXVIII. "Retail transaction" means the purchase of prepaid wireless telecommunications service from a seller for any purpose other than resale.
XXIX. "Seller" means a person who sells prepaid wireless telecommunications service to another person.
XXX. "Voice over Internet Protocol" or "VoIP" means any service that:
(a) Enables real-time, 2-way voice communications that originate from or terminate to the user's location in Internet Protocol or any successor protocol;
(b) Requires a broadband connection from the user's location; and
(c) Permits users generally to receive calls that originate on the public switched telephone network and to terminate calls to the public switched telephone network.

Source. 1990, 9:8; 101:2, 6. 1997, 351:35, 36. 2002, 219:2-4. 2004, 111:1-4. 2005, 190:1, eff. July 1, 2005. 2012, 279:5-7, eff. June 21, 2012. 2019, 346:253-255, eff. Jan. 1, 2020.