Colorado imposes charges on all retail sales of prepaid wireless telecommunication service: 911 charge, a telecommunications relay service (TRS) charge, and, beginning January 1, 2022, a 988 charge. In general, anyone selling prepaid wireless telecommunication service is required to collect the amount of the charges from the consumer, file monthly returns with the Department, and remit with the return all charges collected during the month. Additionally, anyone who uses federally supported services or programs to offer customers free prepaid wireless telecommunications service is also required to file returns and remit to the Department the 911 charge and the 988 charge, but not the TRS charge.
See the Prepaid Wireless Charge guidance publication for additional information.
Returns are due on the same day as the Colorado Sales Tax Return, on or before the 20th of the month. A return must be filed even if no prepaid charges are due. If nothing is due, enter zero on line 1 in all three columns and on the total remitted line. Electronic funds transfer (EFT) payments must be made before 4:00 p.m. Mountain Time on the due date. Returns can be filed by mail using the PDF form, the Prepaid Wireless Charge Return (DR 0526), or by using Revenue Online.
File Using Revenue Online
This method is highly recommended for this tax type to avoid returns rejected due to incorrect versions filed. You need to register for a Revenue Online account prior to filing online. Contact the Excise Tax Unit for assistance with adding your prepaid wireless account to an existing Revenue Online account.
File Using Paper Forms
If filing returns by paper, you are required to use the version of the Prepaid Wireless Charge Return (form DR 0526) specified for the period being filed. Please note that since the 911 and 988 charge rates can change yearly, there may be a new form for the Prepaid Wireless Charge Return (DR 0526) each year going forward, for as long as paper returns are accepted. Returns received that use the incorrect version of the form may be rejected.
If filing on paper, the return submission must be postmarked on or before the 20th of the month. For more information, review the instructions on the Prepaid Wireless Charge Return (DR 0526) form.
911, 988 & TRS Charge Rates
The 911 charge rate is set by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission on a yearly basis. The 988 charge is set by the Crisis Hotline Enterprise on a yearly basis. The Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Charge is static, while the 911 and 988 charges are variable. TRS Charge is calculated as a percentage of sales at 0.1%. The table below provides the 911 and 988 rates by year.
Per-Transaction Rates for 911 & 988 Charges