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Citizens' Utility Ratepayer Board (CURB)

Curb Urges Telephone Customers To Claim Refund Of Federal Telephone Tax

The Citizens' Utility Ratepayer Board (CURB) reminds Kansas telephone customers of their eligibility for a telephone tax credit on their 2006 return to be filed by April, 2007. Individuals may claim a standard refund of between $30 and $60 for federal excise taxes previously paid on their long distance telephone bills for landline, cell phone, or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). CURB first reported on this available tax credit in the August 2006 issue of the CURBside News.

This tax on all telephone bills in the U.S. was originally created to fund the Spanish American War, and was supposed to end when the war ended 108 years ago. However, a series of recent court decisions finally convinced the IRS that it is not lawful to continue to apply it to long distance telephone service charges (it is still lawfully collected on the local portion of telephone bills).

Individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations are entitled to receive the one-time refund. The amount for individuals depends on the number of exemptions they claim on their return, as shown below, if they use the standard refund. However, individual taxpayers may also calculate their actual amount paid if they gather their phone records for 41 months - from 2/28/03 to 8/1/06. Businesses and non-profits, however, must determine the actual amount they have paid if they want a refund.

Standard refunds are as follows:

  • one exemption, the standard refund amount is: $30 (e.g. single taxpayer)
  • two exemptions, the standard refund amount is: $40 (e.g. married couple)
  • three exemptions, the standard refund amount is: $50 (e.g. married with one child)
  • four exemptions or more, the standard refund amount is: $60 (e.g. married with 2 children)

For more information from the IRS' website: