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Will Bigham

IRS calling for more phone tax filers

Uncle Sam is still trying to give away money.

Specifically, the IRS has put out a call to taxpayers who haven't yet claimed the telephone excise tax refund. It's a one-time, money back offer that could get taxpayers, depending on their filing status, from $30 to $60.

Phone_off_hook_2 Most phone customers, including most cell-phone users, qualify for the refund. So far this year, the only filing season the tax refund will be available, 92.1 million taxpayers have requested the phone tax cash. That, according to the IRS, represents 71.6 percent of all individual tax return filers and accounts for a total of $4 billion refunded.

If you didn't claim the cash when you filed earlier this year, you can file an amended return using Form 1040X. Download a copy here and mail it  in; you can't e-file this form.

But if you've yet to file your 2006 taxes -- you still have until Oct. 15 if you got an extension -- you still can e-file that. And be sure to ask for your phone taxes back. If you claim the standard amounts, that $30 to $60, all it takes is filling out one extra line, regardless of which of the three individual forms  (1040, 1040A or 1040EZ) that you use.

If you don't have to file a return this year, you still can get your refund. File Form 1040EZ-T, a special document to request the refund. This is particularly useful for folks, such as senior citizens, who didn't make enough for the IRS to require them to file regular returns.

If you need more information, you can check out the IRS' latest announcement on the phone tax refunds. Or you can read my earlier blogging on this topic here, here and here.

But the main thing is, if you haven't claimed this cash, do so. It's not a lot, but it's just plain silly to let the IRS have any amount of your money that it doesn't deserve.


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