E911 Tax Guide


Washington Military Department
Emergency Management Division
Enhanced 9-1-1 Program

In Washington State, the Enhanced 911 (E911) tax funds the E911 telephone system. The E911 telephone system is an emergency answering service that automatically provides a caller’s name, address, and phone number to the E911 answering center. With this technology, emergency personnel can locate a caller if the caller is unable to speak or if the line becomes disconnected.

Chapter 82.14B Revised Code of Washington (RCW) authorizes counties and the state to impose E911 taxes on telecommunications services. The taxes are collected and remitted by telecommunications companies.

There are three E911 taxes: a state tax on wireline telecommunications, and a county tax on wireline and wireless telecommunications. The following table summarizes the state and county E911 taxes.


Who Pays



State E911 Tax

Wireline subscribers

20 cents per month

switched access lines

County E911 Taxes

Wireline subscribers

50 cents per month (except King Co.)

switched access lines

Wireless subscribers

25 cents per month

radio access lines

Calculating the Tax on Switched Access Lines

A switched access line is “the telephone service line which connects the subscriber’s main telephone(s) or equivalent main telephone(s) to the local exchange company’s switching office” (RCW 82.14B.020).

Telecommunications companies use various types of technology to provide switched access line service. To calculate the E911 tax on different technologies, apply the tax to each voice grade channel regardless if the channel is used for voice or data transmission. The following table outlines the application of the tax to different technologies.

Type of Service

Tax Applies


per line


per line


per trunk

Centrex (restricted)

per NAR

Centrex (nonrestricted)

per station line

Digital Switched Service

per trunk

Integrated Services Digital Network

per B channel


Residential and Business Lines

Subscribers are taxed on the number of switched access lines they order regardless if the switched access line is used for data transmission (fax machines or modems) or voice. Subscribers are not taxed on the number of extensions on their premises or the number of phones connected to the line. For example, a subscriber in Thurston County who ordered three switched access lines, one for personal use, one for business use and one for a fax machine would pay a total of $2.10 per month in county and state E911 taxes. The county tax is 50 cents per switched access line per month for a total of $1.50. The state E911 tax is 20 cents per switched access line per month for a total of 60 cents.

Private Branch Exchange (PBX)

A Private Branch Exchange (PBX) is a private telephone system that is connected to the public switched network via trunk lines. A trunk line can connect only one telephone or station at a time to the public switched network and is considered one voice grade channel for tax purposes. Private Branch Exchanges are charged E911 tax based on the number of trunks, not the number of telephones or stations connected to the PBX. For example, a PBX system in Thurston County services twenty telephones and is connected to the public switched network via two trunks. The monthly E911 taxes total $1.40. The county E911 tax is 50 cents per trunk per month for a total of $1.00. The state E911 tax is 20 cents per trunk per month for a total of 40 cents.


Centrex service is a business communications system that consists of centrex station lines served from the same telephone company central office switch. All station lines are assigned and billed as a single system. Centrex lines have two types of service – nonrestricted and restricted. Nonrestricted centrex lines directly access the public switched network and are charged E911 tax based on the number of station lines. For example, a subscriber with 10 nonrestricted centrex lines in Thurston County would pay a total of $7.00 per month in E911 taxes. The county E911 tax is 50 cents per station line per month for a total of $5.00. The state E911 tax is 20 cents per station line per month for a total of $2.00.

Restricted centrex services are charged E911 tax based on the number of Network Access Registers, not the number of station lines. A Network Access Register (NAR) is software in the central office that performs two main functions. The NAR can connect the station to the public switched network or direct the call to another station in the centrex system without passing through the public switched network. Each NAR is considered one voice grade channel for the purposes of taxation. For example, a subscriber orders 5 NARs in Thurston County and there are 10 telephones assigned to each NAR. The subscriber would pay a total of $3.50 per month in county and state E911 taxes. The county E911 tax is 50 cents per NAR per month for a total of $2.50. The state E911 tax is 20 cents per NAR per month for a total of $1.00.

Digital Switched Service

Digital Switched Service (DSS) provides digital exchange service for PBX customers that expands the voice and data transmission capability. Subscribers can order a DS1 facility which enables the subscriber to add 24 trunks or a DS3 service which has transmission capacity equivalent to 672 trunks. Some of the trunks may be used only to transmit calls or data going into the business. Other trunks are used only for calls or data going out of the business. The remaining trunks are used for two way voice transmission. The E911 tax is imposed on the actual number of trunks in service, without regard to whether they can be used to access E911 service (i.e., whether they are in-only, out-only, or two-way).

For example, a catalogue company orders one DS1 facility and uses 24 trunks. Twelve lines are in-only and are used for orders. Eight lines are for out-only calls and are used to transmit voice and data. The remaining four trunks are administrative lines and used for two way communication. The subscriber would pay a total of $16.80 per month in county and state E911 taxes. The county E911 tax is 50 cents per trunk per month for a total of $12.00. The state E911 tax is 20 cents per trunk per month for a total of $4.80.

Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN)

Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) is a digital exchange service that provides greater integrated voice and data capability using the public switched telephone network. ISDN is used in a business context or for telecommuters to permit a person to have both a telephone and a computer using a single line. ISDN distributes voice and data by two standard methods of access: a Basic Rate Service (BRS) or a Primary Rate Service (PRS). BRS consists of three distinct channels on one pair of wires: two B (Bearer) channels and one D (Delta) channel. The B channel carries switched voice and/or data communications from the customer’s premises to the central office. The D channel carries signaling information. PRS has the capacity for carrying 23 B channels and one D channel. For both BRS and PRS the E911 tax is imposed on each B channel in service, without regard to whether it carries communications from a telephone or a computer.

For example, a subscriber orders ISDN Basic Rate Service in Thurston County and uses two B channels. The subscriber would pay a total of $1.40 per month in county and state E911 taxes. The county E911 tax is 50 cents per B channel per month for a total of $1.00. The state E911 tax is 20 cents per B channel per month for a total of 40 cents.

If a subscriber orders ISDN Prime Rate Service in Thurston County and only uses 10 B channels, they are only taxed on the channels used. In this case, the subscriber would pay a total of $7.00 per month in county and state E911 taxes. The county E911 tax is 50 cents per B channel per month for a total of $5.00. The state E911 tax is 20 cents per B channel per month for a total of $2.00.

Calculating the Tax on Radio Access Line

A radio access line is “the telephone number assigned to or used by an end user for two-way wireless voice service available to the public for hire from a radio communications service company. Radio access lines include, but are not limited to, radiotelephone communication lines used in cellular telephone service, personal communications services, and network radio access lines, or their functional and competitive equivalent” (RCW 82.14B.020).

The following are excluded from the statutory definition of radio access lines: one-way signaling such as paging service, communications channels suitable only for data transmission, non-local radio access line service, and private telecommunications systems. An example of a private telecommunications system is a radio dispatch system used by taxicabs or trucking companies.

For radio access lines, the E911 tax applies per telephone number. If a cellular phone has two numbers, then the end user pays a total of 50 cents per month in E911 tax.

Assigning the Tax to the Correct Jurisdiction

The tax revenue should be assigned based on the service address, which in most cases is the same as the billing address. In those cases where the billing address is not representative of the service address, assign revenues based on the following guidelines:

  • For customers with a billing address outside the local service area of the cellular carrier, attribute tax based on service location or deemed to be service location.
  • Ask new customers if the billing address is different than the service address and assign the tax accordingly.


In general, federal government agencies and instrumentalities, Indian tribes and foreign governments are exempt from state and local government taxation which includes the E911 excise taxes. However, not all instrumentalities are exempt. Congress states in the federal code whether the instrumentality is immune from taxation and to what extent the immunity is granted. It is necessary to research the federal code that authorizes the instrumentality to accurately determine tax exempt status.

Indians are only exempt if they live on the reservation land. They are taxable if they live off the reservation.

Embassies, consulate offices, and other foreign affair posts are generally immune from federal or state taxation by international agreement. Most foreign government activities are not subject to federal or state taxation by treaty. However, in all cases the respective tax treaty should be consulted because not all countries allow reciprocal tax immunity.


General Tax Administration


RCW 82.14B states that the state and local E911 taxes “shall be collected from the user by the local exchange companies providing the switched access line.” For wireless telecommunications, “the radio communications service company providing the radio access line to the end-user” is responsible to collect and remit the appropriate E911 taxes. The definitions in RCW 80.40.01 for a “local exchange company” and a “radio communications service company” include resellers. It is the responsibility of telecommunications companies to use their own computer software to generate bills with the correct amount of E911 tax included.

Chapter 82.14B RCW imposes the tax on a “per month” basis. The E911 taxes should not be prorated when a customer starts or ends service during the month. The full E911 tax should be collected for partial months of service.


The due date for the remittance of the E911 taxes is thirty days following the collection month. The collection month is the calendar month in which the E911 tax was collected from the subscriber by a local exchange company or a radio communications service company.

There is not a standard tax form for remittance of the E911 tax. When remitting State and County E911 tax, you must include the check and an attachment with the following information:

  • Company name
  • Contact person name and phone number
  • Period of the collection
  • Total amount remitted
  • Number of taxable lines included in the remittance

State E911 Tax Remittance

The State E911 tax may be remitted electronically to the Washington State Treasurer. For information on electronic remittance, call (360) 902-8906.

If the State E911 tax is not remitted electronically, it must be sent to:

Fiscal Technician Supervisor
State Finance
Washington State Military Department
Camp Murray, Tacoma, WA 98430
(253) 512-8214

County E911 Tax Remittance

The County E911 tax must be remitted to the county in which it was collected. In most counties, the County E911 tax is remitted to the County Treasurer. The exceptions are King and Pierce Counties (see county address list). Some counties provide their own remittance form. Prior to filing, you may wish to check with the County Treasurer’s Office to determine if that county has its own remittance form for you to use.

When tax remittances fluctuate due to computer billing problems, the telecommunications companies still owe the tax revenue to the county and state. If a telecommunications company changes its billing cycle, it should notify the county and state tax jurisdictions of the upcoming fluctuations. This allows the state and county to plan accordingly for possible financial impact.

Addresses for County E911 Tax Remittance

Adams County Treasurer
210 West Broadway
Ritzville, WA 99169
(509) 659-3227

Lewis County Treasurer
351 NW North Street
Chehalis, WA 98532-1900
(360) 740-1110

Asotin County Treasurer
PO Box 99
135 Second Street
Asotin, WA 99402
(509) 243-2014

Lincoln County Treasurer
450 Logan Street
Davenport, WA 99122
(509) 725-5061

Benton County Treasurer
PO Box 630
620 Market Street
Prosser, WA 99350-0630
(509) 786-2255

Mason County Treasurer
PO Box 429
411 North Fifth, Bldg. 1
Shelton, WA 98584-0429
(360) 427-9670 x475

Chelan County Treasurer
Washington & Orondo Streets
Wenatchee, WA 98801
(509) 664-5405

Okanogan County Treasurer
149 Third North
Okanogan, WA 98840
(509) 422-7180

Clallam County Treasurer
PO Box 2129
Port Angeles, WA 98362-0389
(360) 417-2247

Pacific County Treasurer
300 Memorial Avenue
South Bend, WA 98586
(360) 875-9421 x421

Clark County Treasurer
1200 Franklin Street
PO Box 5000
Vancouver, WA 98666
(360) 699-2255

Pend Oreille County Treasurer
PO Box 5080
625 West Fourth
Newport, WA 99156-5080
(509) 447-3612

Columbia County Treasurer
341 East Main Street
Dayton, WA 99328
(509) 382-2641

Pierce County Budget and Finance Department
Merit Building, Suite 100
615 South 9th Street
Tacoma, WA 98405-4673
(253) 798-7450

Cowlitz County Treasurer
County Administration Building
207 Fourth Avenue North
Kelso, WA 98626
(360) 577-3059

San Juan County Treasurer
PO Box 639
450 Court Street
Friday Harbor, WA 98250-0639
(360) 378-2171

Douglas County Treasurer
213 South Rainier
Waterville, WA 98858
(509) 745-8525 x429

Skagit County Treasurer
700 South Second Street
3rd & Kincaid
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
(360) 336-9350

Ferry County Treasurer
350 East Delaware
Republic, WA 99166
(509) 775-5238

Skamania County Treasurer
240 NW Vancouver
PO Box 790
Stevenson, WA 98648
(509) 427-9410

Franklin County Treasurer
1016 North Fourth Ave.
Pasco, WA 99301
(509) 545-3518

Snohomish County Treasurer
3000 Rockefeller Avenue
Everett, WA 98201
(206) 388-3352

Garfield County Treasurer
PO Box 340
Pomeroy, WA 99347
(509) 843-1531

Spokane County Treasurer
PO Box 2165
West 1116 Broadway
Spokane, WA 99210
(509) 456-4786

Grant County Treasurer
C Street NW
PO Box 37
Ephrata, WA 98823
(509) 754-2011 x353

Stevens County Treasurer
215 South Oak Street
Colville, WA 99114
(509) 684-2593

Grays Harbor County Treasurer
PO Box 831
100 West Broadway
Montesano, WA 98563
(360) 249-3751

Thurston County Treasurer
2000 Lakeridge Drive SW
Olympia, WA 98502
(360) 786-5550

Island County Treasurer
NE 6th and Main Street
PO Box 699
Coupeville, WA 98239
(360) 679-7301

Wahkiakum County Treasurer
PO Box 85
64 Main Street
Cathlamet, WA 98612
(360) 795-8005

Jefferson County Treasurer
1820 Jefferson Street
PO Box 1220
Port Townsend, WA 98368
(360) 385-9154

Walla Walla Regional Planning
Attn: Verna Story
310 West Poplar Street, Suite 001
Walla Walla, WA 99362
(509) 527-3285

King County
Call the King County E911 Program for remittance information.)
(206) 296-3911

Whatcom County Treasurer
PO Box 5268
311 Grand Avenue
Bellingham, WA 98227-5268
(360) 676-6776 x50075

Kitsap County Treasurer
614 Division Street
Port Orchard, WA 98366
(360) 876-7135

Whitman County Treasurer
North 404 Main Street
Colfax, WA 99111
(509) 397-6230

Kittitas County Treasurer
205 W. 5th, Room 102
Ellensburg, WA 98926
(509) 962-7535

Yakima County Treasurer
128 North Second Street
Yakima, WA 98901
(509) 574-2787

Klickitat County Treasurer
205 South Columbus
Goldendale, WA 98620
(509) 773-4664


Exemption List

(Note: This list includes the most common exemptions. There may be additional government corporations or agencies that are exempt. Check the federal code that authorizes the specific exemption.)

U.S. Government offices and departments, e.g.,
Military Branches (Navy, Army, etc.)

Post Office

Department of Justice

Social Security Board

Department of Housing and Urban Development

Congress (House & Senate)

Department of Commerce

US Supreme Court

Department of the Treasury

All other federal courts

Department of Agriculture

Department of the Interior

Department of Labor

All other federal departments

Department of State

 Federal Corporations:

Agricultural Credit Associations

Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation

American Red Cross

Government National Mortgage Association

Central Banks for Cooperatives

Home Owners Loan Corporation

Civil Service Commission

Interstate Commerce Commission

Coast Guard Auxiliary

National Railroad Passenger Corporation

Export-Import Banks

Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society

Farm Credit Administration

Production Credit Association

Farm Credit Banks

Reconstruction Finance Corporation

Farm Loan Associations

Rural Electrification Administration

Farm Security Administration

Social Security Board

Farmers Home Corporation

Student Loan Marketing Association

Federal Credit Unions

Tennessee Valley Authority

Federal Crop Insurance Corporation

United States Housing Authority

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

United States Maritime Commission

Federal Farm Mortgage Corporation


Federal Home Loan Banks

Veterans Administration

Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation

SLSDC – Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation

Federal Housing Administration

TDPOB – Thrift Depositor Protection Oversight Board

Federal Intermediate Credit Banks

TVA – Tennessee Valley Authority

Federal Land Banks

USDA – United States Department of Agriculture

Federal Land Credit Association

USEC – United States Enrichment Corporation

Federal National Mortgage Association

USPS – United States Postal Service

Federal Reserve Banks

Indian Tribes:

Chehalis Tribe

Quileute Tribe

Colville Confederated Tribes

Quinault Nation

Elwha Klallam Tribe

Sauk-Suiattle Tribe

Hoh Tribe

Shoalwater Bay Tribe

Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe

Skokomish Tribe

Kalispel Tribe

Spokane Tribe

Lummi Nation

Squaxin Island Tribe

Makah Tribe

Stillaguamish Tribe

Muckleshoot Tribe

Suquamish Tribe

Nisqually Tribe

Swinomish Tribe

Nooksack Tribe

Tulalip Tribes

Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe

Upper Skagit Tribe

Puyallup Tribe

Yakama Nation


For more information, please contact:

Penelope Christopherson
Public Information Officer
State E911 Office
Military Department
1-800-562-6108 or
(360) 923-4517
Fax: (360) 923-4519
(360) 753-5990
Email: [email protected]
Web: https://www.nena9-1-1.org/washington/taxguide.htm