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Avalara Help Center

Conference Mapping Guidelines

Introduction

Taxation of conferencing service requires special handling and as such, special conferencing mappings are provided as a part of the Avatax for Communications Guidelines. This document will inform AFC software clients how to map conferencing transactions.

Conferencing Service

Conferencing services can be broadly divided into two separate categories:

  1. Audio Conferencing
  2. Web Conferencing

The differences between these two types of service impacts the taxation of each service. The difference is dependent on the underlying type of telecommunications service being used for the conferencing.

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), audio conferencing services are considered to be a telecommunications service. However, when audio conferencing is used in conjunction with information services and considered to be functionally integrated, that same audio conferencing call might be considered to be an information service that would not be subject to Federal regulations.

Audio Conferencing

Audio conferencing can be described as a telephone call in which multiple people are connected to a single call and does not include information services. The participants are connected by a “conference bridge”. The type of telephone service used can vary depending on how participants are connecting.

Standalone audio conferencing is typically connected through Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) usage and can include Long Distance, Local Exchange, Cellular, or VoIP services. See individual mapping guidelines for more details on the described services.

The following transaction/service pairs can be used when addressing audio conferencing:

Transaction Type

Service Type

Name

Description

3

34

Other/Conference Bridge

Charges for connecting conference participants utilizing a conferencing bridge including dial in or dial out service.  This transaction should be used when transactions are interstate or cannot be separated from intrastate services.

3

575

Other/Conference Bridge-Intrastate

Charges for connecting intrastate conference participants utilizing a conferencing bridge.   This transaction should be used when intrastate services do not include dial in or dial out services.

3

576

Other/Conference Bridge-Intrastate w Dial In

Per-minute and per-participant charges for dial-in service provided in conjunction with connecting conference participants utilizing a conferencing bridge when all participants are located within one state.  

3

589

Other/Conference Bridge-Interstate

Charges for connecting interstate conference participants utilizing a conferencing bridge.  This transaction should be used when interstate services do not include dial in or dial out services.

3

608

Other/Conference Bridge Interstate w Dial In

Per-minute and per-participant charges for dial in service provided in conjunction with connecting conference participants utilizing a conferencing bridge when all participants are located in different states.  

64

648

Conferencing/Intrastate with FCC Jurisdiction

Per-minute and per-participant charges for dial-in service provided in conjunction with connecting conference participants utilizing a conferencing bridge when all participants are located within one state.  Intended to be used to return Federal charges with the State charges.

64

649

Conferencing/Interstate without FCC Jurisdiction

Per-minute and per-participant charges for dial in service provided in conjunction with connecting conference participants utilizing a conferencing bridge when all participants are located in different states.  Intended to be used to return State charges for conferencing without Federal charges.

Mapping Audio Conferencing

Audio conferencing taxation is based on the revenue amount and rated taxes and is dependent on the type of service provided. 

Typically a provider charges an amount for the actual conference bridge which can be mapped to Other/Conference Bridge (3/34). If the interstate and intrastate bridge connection can be distinguished, use Other/Conference Bridge-Intrastate (3/575) and Other/Conference Bridge-Interstate (3/589). 

Subsequent charges for the telecommunications transmission can be mapped using toll or toll free transaction service pairs.

If the cost of the conference bridge is built into the cost of providing the transmission services, use of Other/Conference Bridge-Intrastate w Dial In (3/576) or Other/Conference Bridge-Interstate w Dial in (3/608) is appropriate. The provision of a toll free number to participants for audio conferencing can be mapped to the above codes. Conferences that utilize a dial out function may also use these codes.

Use of Conferencing/Intrastate with FCC Jurisdiction (64/648) and Conferencing/Interstate without FCC Jurisdiction (64/649) is not recommended for general client use.

Web Conferencing

Web conferencing is similar to audio conferencing; however it is used to cover various types of services including webinars, webcasts, and peer to peer web meetings where data streams and information is shared between all participants. This service can include audio conferencing as described above.

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), audio conferencing services are a telecommunications service. However, when audio conferencing is used in conjunction with information services and considered to be functionally integrated, that same audio conferencing call might be considered to be an information service that would not be subject to Federal regulations.

Due to the FCC ruling, specific codes are used when PSTN telecommunications are used in conjunction with an information service in order to account for this distinction by the FCC.

The following transaction/service pairs can be used when addressing web conferencing:

Transaction Type

Service Type

Name

Description

64

683

Conferencing/Bridge w Enhanced Features

Charges for connecting conferencing participants utilizing enhanced features with no dial in or dial out

64

577

Conferencing/Enhanced Features

Charges and fees for additional feature charges of web conferencing services which are separate from voice transmission related features. (Includes services such as whiteboarding, remote control, chat features, and presence information.)

64

684

Conferencing/Interstate Dial in w Enhanced Features

Charges for connecting and providing interstate dial-in or dial-out service provided in conjunction with connecting conferencing participants utilizing enhanced features. Used in conjunction with 64/577.

64

685

Conferencing/Intrastate Dial in w Enhanced Features

Charges for connecting and providing intrastate dial-in or dial-out service provided in conjunction with connecting conferencing participants utilizing enhanced features. Used in conjunction with 64/577.

Mapping Web Conferencing

Web conferencing taxation is based on the revenue amount and rated taxes and is dependent on the type of service provided. 

Typically, a provider charges an amount for the actual conference bridge with enhanced features which can be mapped to Conferencing/Bridge w Enhanced Features (64/683). If the interstate and intrastate bridge connection can be distinguished from the dial in or dial out call, use of Conferencing/Interstate Dial in w Enhanced Features (64/684) and Conferencing/Intrastate Dial in w Enhanced Features (64/685) for the audio call in conjunction with enhanced features is appropriate.

If the cost of the conference bridge is built into the cost of providing the transmission services, use of Conferencing/Interstate Usage w Enhanced Features (64/684) and Conferencing/Intrastate Usage w Enhanced Features (64/685) is appropriate.

The additional enhanced features of web conferencing which can include but not limited to whiteboarding, remote control, chat features, recording, and presence information can be appropriately mapped to Conferencing/Enhanced Features (64/577).

VoIP service can also be used for the audio connection of web conferencing service. Popular connection method is the use of non-interconnected VoIP, sometimes referred to as “peer-to-peer” VoIP and often limits users to calls with other users of the same service/protocol and does not offer the ability to make and receive calls from the PSTN.

For additional information on VoIP service, please refer to the VoIP Mapping Guidelines.

Additional Services

While the above transactions can support most conferencing services and offerings, there may be additional services that will be handled outside of the conferencing transaction.

Additional Mappings available for use:

Transaction Type

Service Type

Name

Description

64

686

Conferencing/Concierge Service

Operator assistance to provide real-time technical support to conference calls.

24

636

Software/Remotely Accessed Software

A service that provides access and usage of software that remains in the possession of the seller and is remotely accessed by a customer.  If data is manipulated by the software, it is user created.

3

37

Other/Equipment Rental

Charges for Rental of Equipment.

3

602

Other/Services-Professional

A service rendered for a fee in one of the learned professions.

3

614

Other/Telecom Equipment Rental

Charge for renting telecommunications equipment.

Populating Data

Transaction Type

Service Type

Description 

Required Input Data

3

34

Other/Conference Bridge

Amount, Minutes

3

37

Other/Equipment Rental

Amount

3

575

Other/Conference Bridge-Intrastate

Amount, Minutes

3

576

Other/Conference Bridge-Intrastate w Dial In

Amount, Minutes

3

589

Other/Conference Bridge-Interstate

Amount, Minutes

3

608

Other/Conference Bridge Interstate w Dial In

Amount, Minutes

3

614

Other/Telecom Equipment Rental

Amount

24

636

Software/Remotely Accessed Software

Amount

64

577

Conferencing/Enhanced Features

Amount, Minutes

64

648

Conferencing/Intrastate with FCC Jurisdiction

Amount, Minutes

64

649

Conferencing/Interstate without FCC Jurisdiction

Amount, Minutes

64

683

Conferencing/Bridge w Enhanced Features

Amount, Minutes

64

684

Conferencing/Interstate Dial in w Enhanced Features

Amount, Minutes

64

685

Conferencing/Intrastate Dial in w Enhanced Features

Amount, Minutes

64

686

Conferencing/Concierge Service

Amount, Minutes