Telephone Tax Refund

Telephone Tax Refund Is A Missed Call for Taxpayers


Taxpayers who are not dialed into the latest tax refund news ringing at the IRS are certain to miss the call for the federal telephone excise tax refund. The IRS news out of Washington is that the telephone tax refund is going to voicemail for a lot of taxpayers who are not answering to take the call for the refund on their 2006 tax returns.  A good number of taxpayers with cell phones, faxes, land line based phones and internet phones qualify for the federal telephone excise tax refund referred to as the telephone tax refund. 

The tax refund amount can be as much as or equal to a monthly phone bill for many taxpayers which can increase a tax refund by an estimated $30 -$60.

The Commissioner of the IRS, Mark Everson said in an IRS Newswire statement that “Many taxpayers are overlooking this special refund and the chance to get a bigger refund,” The Commissioner also said of the IRS that, “We encourage taxpayers to spend a few extra minutes reviewing their tax return to make sure they are making an accurate request. A little extra time can mean a bigger refund check.”

In August 2006, the United States government gave up collecting the excise tax on long distance. Court decisions from the federal level held that this tax on long distance phone service does not apply today. There is another eager hello to a telephone tax refund on a three percent tax collected on long distance service and bundled phone service that was billed from March 1, 2003 to July 31, 2006. Local and long distance phone service that is provided though a phone service plan which does not list the charges for local service separately is bundled phone service.

The IRS suggests giving consideration to using the standard-refund amount as approximately 99 percent of tax returns requesting the telephone tax refund are choosing the standard amount. The standard amount is optional. The IRS says that it is easy to figure and approximates the eligible amount for most telephone customers. Taxpayers only have to fill out one line on their tax returns. Taxpayers do not need to present proof to the IRS as the standard amount ranges from $30 to $60. The amount is based on the number of exemptions claimed on the 2006 tax return. Taxpayers who can be claimed as a dependent on another taxpayer's 2006 tax return can't use the standard amount.

The IRS says that if a taxpayer paid more than the standard amount, the taxpayer may figure the refund using the actual amount of tax shown on phone bills and other records. The refund request should be based on the three-percent federal tax paid and not the total amount of the phone bill. Taxpayers should not count tax paid on local-only service. Supporting documents, such as phone bills must be used to support the amount taxpayers are requesting. Supporting documents do not have to be filed with the 2006 tax return. The supporting documents should be kept incase the IRS decides to examine a taxpayer’s tax return.

Taxpayers who are not certain that they paid the tax need to check the long-distance or bundled service part of their telephone bill. Taxpayers need to look for phone bill items that show up as Federal, Federal Excise 3%, Federal Excise @ 3%, Federal Excise Tax, Federal Tax, Fed Excise Tax and FET to identify the tax. It should be easily shown on the phone bull as it is listed as one item on a phone bill.

Taxpayers are advised by the IRS not to file duplicate requests for the telephone tax refund. Taxpayers who file a regular income-tax return should not file IRS Form 1040EZ-T which the IRS says is designed exclusively for requesting the telephone tax refund by taxpayers who do not need to file a regular income-tax return.

The IRS encourages taxpayers to file their tax returns electronically. Programs such as TurboTax Online can identify missed tax deductions, tax credits and other tax breaks such as the telephone tax refund.

Taxpayers who have already filed their 2006 tax return and missed the telephone tax refund part on their tax return can file an amended 2006 tax return using IRS Form 1040X.

Lastly, the IRS warns taxpayers to avoid tax preparers who falsely claim that many, if not most, phone customers can get hundreds of dollars or more back on the telephone tax refund.

IRS Commissioner Everson stated,” We want all taxpayers entitled to this refund to get it, whether they are using a tax preparer or doing the return themselves,” Taxpayers should take note of this telephone tax refund as they file their 2006 tax returns as this is one call worth picking up from the IRS.


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