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Taxing telecommunications in Texas, July 2016


 Local sales tax applies to telecommunications services in some Texas jurisdictions.

There are approximately 1,400 different tax jurisdictions in Texas (over 1,000 special jurisdictions alone), more than 500 of which apply local sales tax to the transfer of telecommunications services. Since local sales tax is optional, changes to which localities do and don’t tax telecommunications services happen regularly.

Effective July 1, 2016, the following local tax jurisdictions impose local sales tax on telecommunications services:

  • Highland Village
  • Ennis Crime Control District
  • Harris County Improvement District No. 18
  • Wilson County Emergency Services District No. 2

How to determine location of the service

The state sales tax rate is the same in Dallas, El Paso, Houston, and every place in between. Local sales tax rates, however, vary a great deal from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. When telecommunications services straddle two or more locations, the telecommunications sales tax rate is determined based on the location of the origin of the call. If for some reason that information is unavailable, the rate is based on the billing address associated with the call.

A list of the more than 500 jurisdictions that currently impose a local tax on telecommunications is available here.

Sales tax software-as-a-service (SaaS) automatically applies the correct state and local rate to each and every transaction, guaranteed. Learn more.


Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.