Telephone Tax Refund: Easiest $30 or more from the IRS

Early last week, MSN Money has an article saying that there’s a $30 to $60 tax refund that more than one third taxpayers may forget to claim, yet it could be the easiest refund one can get.

So what is it exactly?

It’s the telephone tax refund. According to the IRS website,

The telephone tax refund is a one-time payment available on your 2006 federal income tax return, designed to refund previously collected federal excise taxes on long-distance or bundled service. It is available to anyone who paid such taxes on landline, wireless, or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service.

If you think that you can’t claim this refund because you currently don’t have a long-distance carrier, you may be correct if you didn’t use any long-distance service since February 28, 2003. Otherwise, you can still get the refund as it covers the period from February 28, 2003 to August 31, 2006. Instead of asking taxpayers exactly how much they have paid in the 41 months on long-distance bills, the government has created standard amount refund from $30 to $60, based on the number of exemptions taxpayers claim on their 2006 tax return:

  • One exemption: $30
  • Two exemptions: $40
  • Three exemptions: $50
  • Four exemptions or more: $60

If you are filing your returns with paper forms, here’s a list of where you can enter the claim:

  • Form 1040, Line 71
  • Form 1040A, Line 42
  • Form 1040EZ, Line 9
  • Form 1040NR, Line 69
  • Form 1040NR-EZ, Line 21

Since it’s a one-time refund, get it before it’s forever gone.

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