FISTEL, FUNTTEL and FUST are funds created to improve the telecommunication services in Brazil, but they ended up raising the prices of consumers’ phone bills. Learn about them in this article.
Taxes are part of the amount of a mobile phone's bills. In Brazil, besides the known tributes ICMS, PIS and COFINS, there are also sectorial funds of telecommunications, which, despite not being directly charged to people, compose the costs of operators - which end up charging the clients.
There are three funds in Brazil charged on telecommunications: FISTEL, FUNTTEL and FUST. They put Brazil as one of the first positions on the list of countries that charge more money on telecommunication services. The main problem, however, is that the money collected isn't being invested. By August 2012, only BRL 1,3 million (out of BRL 650 million collected through FUST in the first four months) had been invested in projects to improve the telecom sector.
FISTEL is short for Fundo de Fiscalização das Telecomunicações, or Funds for the Inspection of Telecommunications, and it was instituted in 1966 to provide the resources for expenses made by the federal government when inspecting telecommunication services. These resources are also applied in the installation, maintenance, and improvement of telecommunication services, as well as in the acquisition of specialized materials and for inspecting on elaboration and performance of plans and projects in the area.
FISTEL encompasses two inspection taxes:
- Taxa de Fiscalização de Instalação, or TFI, which is the fee on the inspection of installation.
- Taxa de Fiscalização de Funcionamento or TFF, which is the fee in the inspection of functioning.
TFI is charged when the service providers issue the license certificate for the functioning of stations. It has different fixed costs for operators depending on each installation, varying from BRL 26.83 to BRL 34,065.00. Some services are exempt from the fund. It’s possible to check the complete table of costs here.
TFF is paid annually until March 31st and corresponds to 50% of the consigned amount in TFI, being levied in all licensed stations until the previous December 31st day.
Telecommunications stations are considered to be the set of equipment, devices and other means that are necessary for telecommunication, as well as their accessories and installations that complement them, including handheld terminals.
FUNTTEL or Fundo para o Desenvolvimento Tecnológico das Telecomunicações is the Fund Destined for the Technological Development of Telecommunication. It was created in 2000 to encourage the process of technological innovation, stimulating the human resources capacity, encouraging job creation and providing access to capital resources to small and medium companies, in order to increase the competitiveness of the telecommunication industry in Brazil.
FUNTTEL is levied on the revenue of the companies that provide telecommunication services. From the basis of calculation are excluded the cancelled sales, the conceded discounts, the ICMS, PIS and COFINS. The rate is 0,5%.
FUST is the abbreviated form for Fundo de Universalização dos Serviços de Telecomunicações, or the Fund of Universalization of Telecommunication Services. It was also created in 2000 to cover part of the amount spent to universalize telecommunication services, as long as this cost can't be recovered by the efficient exploitation of the service.
It's levied on the gross operating revenue of each month, resulting from the provision of telecommunication services. Its basis of calculation also doesn't include the ICMS, the PIS and the COFINS taxes. It must be paid until the 10th day of the subsequent month of verification. Its rate is of 1%.