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Ringing up phone tax refunds

Taxpayers who made long-distance calls in the last 3½ years can expect a refund of between $30 and $60 next filing season by simply submitting a return.

Candlestick_phone2_2 The cash back is courtesy of the IRS decision in May to discontinue the 3% federal excise tax that had been tacked onto phone bills for most of the years after its origination in 1898. You can find details on the tax and the IRS' change of collection heart in this earlier blog.

Unfortunately, despite the phone tax's long history, only the fees paid on long-distance service after Feb 28, 2003, and before Aug 1, 2006, count. That's why the $60 ceiling on the standard phone tax-rebate.

And local phone taxes are sill being collected and aren't included in this federal tax-back program.

To arrive at the $30-to-$60 figure, the IRS calculated average costs based on the total number of exemptions a filer claims on his or her return. A taxpayer claiming one exemption gets $30 back; the refund is $40 for two exemptions, $50 for three exemptions and $60 for four or more exemptions.

To get the refund, you'll just have to fill out one additional line on your 2006 tax return, filed next year. If you don't have to file a regular return, the IRS is creating a special short form, Form 1040EZ-T, that you can use to get back your phone tax money.

Of course, if you believe you paid more than the standard amount you're allowed, then you can document your actual phone taxes paid and claim that figure instead. But that will mean tracking down or digging out all your old phone bills. You'll just have to decide if the effort is worth any extra refund.

The standard phone refund amounts also apply only to individual filers. Businesses and nonprofit groups must base their telephone tax refund on actual taxes paid, but the IRS says it is looking for ways to make the refund process easier for these taxpayers.

Complete details on the telephone tax refund will be included in 2006 tax return materials and on the IRS's Web page. Until that is available, you can check out this official telephone tax refund FAQ page.


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Dick Hansen

Technology Change Management (TCM) has a web-page called which exists to assist individuals and businesses with their REFUND processing for the $15 Billion Phone Federal Excise Tax (FET) REFUND. Readers of your publication can use this web-site to help them gain information and/or process their REFUND claim.

Our web-site is set-up to handle individual and business inquiries, comments in the form of questions and estimates of the "ball park" REFUND amount.

In addition for individuals, the web-site asks 4 questions concerning the "STANDARD AMOUNT ($30-$60 REFUND)" and prints a REFUND LETTER for each individual with name and exact STANDARD REFUND amount with instructions on how to record the standard amount on various IRS forms. This function is FREE and will assist in a simple manner to file a Phone FET REFUND.

The individuals who want to file the REFUND using the exact FET charges on old TELECOM statements and invoices for the 41 month period (March 2003 through July 2006), can expect to receive an average (based upon usage) REFUND of $120 to $150 and more.

TCM can assist these individuals with processing their REFUNDS with actual amounts for the 41 months by selling our FET Software and 20+ Page Instructional Manual for a $10.00 discount to your members. Therefore, the price of the FET Software and Instructional Manual will be $19.95 using your discount code.

Also, TCM has FET Software and 25+ Page Instructional Manual for all US Companies.

The question is how do we get this information out to your readers? TCM believes everyone eligible for a REFUND should have a simple and cost-effective way to file their REFUND.

If you have any suggestions and want to work together on this REFUND process, please contact us at (281) 493-3114.

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