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Money Saving Solutions for Seniors with Cellphones

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Updated 7/31/15 4:37pm | At Alert1, we’re keen on saving you a buck or two. That’s why we were surprised to see how much New Yorkers paid for cell phone coverage. New York residents were taxed 23.67%, but your neighbors in Connecticut only paid 13.23%. You may consider calling Verizon, T-Mobile or AT&T and changing your mobile phone to a Connecticut area code. 2012 data showed that wireless tax discrepancy among states is huge. New York was 3rd highest among all 50 states, while Connecticut ranked 40th. Poor Nebraskans were taxed the highest at 24.49%, while those lucky Oregonians were billed an amazingly-low 7.67% combined rate.

State cell taxes and fees vary widely, and are often hidden from the consumers as a way to raise invisibly. Seven states have combined federal state local cell phone tax rates exceeding 20 percent. In addition, the study showed that cell phones are taxed at higher levels than alcohol or cigarettes.

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How Cell Providers Charge You

According to the Mobile Telecommunications Sourcing Act of 2002, a cell phone subscriber is liable for cell phone taxes only in his or her "place of primary use"[1] , which is determined by the cell phone company based on the address provided by the subscriber and cannot be overruled by a state taxing authority.[2]

Before you sign on the dotted line be sure you speak with your phone provider or research the taxes per state. As seniors abandon landlines in favor of wireless devices, they should stay vigilant to avoid being overtaxed. If you’re a senior considering removing your landline phone service, have you heard about Alert1’s home wireless medical alert system? With Alert1 senior medical alert systems, we don't require long-term contracts. You get to choose whether you want to pay annually for the best discount or monthly for the most flexibility.

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How to Select a Phone Provider

If you’re looking to purchase a cell phone, here are some of our recommendations. First do your research and see if the network provider has senior friendly services and pricing. Ask if you can purchase talk time minutes as you need them. This way, you can budget your talk time to be a manageable expense. Also make sure that any unused minutes you purchase can rollover into your next month’s service, that way you can reuse any excess phone service. Find out if your select mobile carrier offers AARP member discounts for seniors. Additionally you should consider asking your friends or seniors which cell phone providers they use. 

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Alternative Coverage Made Just for Seniors

Alert1 has the perfect solution for seniors with concerns about new technology, confusing service plans and long term contracts. Our mobile medical alert system works anywhere in the nation and is incredibly easy to use. Senior medical alert systems are better than cell phones because you receive a dedicated support team that brings you the help you need. All you need to do is press a button to connect to our 24/7 command center. With a personal emergency response system, seniors everywhere can maintain their independence and stay safe in the event of an emergency. 

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If you're a senior that's looking to make the leap and get a phone, be sure you know what you're paying for. To think, New Yorkers can avoid heavy cell phone taxation by getting an out of state number! You should know there are alternatives services that are made specifically for seniors to contact loved ones.  Senior medical alert systems save you time and money. When the unthinkable happens Alert1 will help you get back on your feet. 

 

Sources 

[1] 4 U.S.C. § 122(a)(2).

[2] IdSee also 4 U.S.C. § 124(8).

http://taxfoundation.org/sites/taxfoundation.org/files/docs/ff355_0.pdf

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