The Internal Revenue Service announced that long-distance telephone customers will be able to seek refunds ranging from $30 to $60 on their 2006 tax refunds.
"These amounts save taxpayers from locating 41 months of old phone bills and analyzing these bills to determine the taxes paid," said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson, in a statement. "We believe the standard amounts are both reasonable and fair."
Generally, anyone who paid the long-distance telephone tax will get the refund when they file their 2006 federal income tax return next year. This includes individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations.
The standard amounts are based on the total number of exemptions claimed on the 2006 federal income tax return. The standard amounts are $30 for a person filing a return with one exemption, $40 for two exemptions, $50 for three exemptions and $60 for four or more exemptions.
To get the standard amount, eligible taxpayers only need to fill out one additional line on their regular 2006 return and the IRS is creating a special short form (Form 1040EZ-T) for those who don't need to file a regular return.
The standard amounts are based on actual telephone usage data, and the standard amount applicable to a family or other household reflects the long-distance phone tax paid by similarly sized families or households. Taxpayers who paid the long-distance tax on service billed after Feb. 28, 2003 and before Aug. 1, 2006 are eligible for a refund.
Businesses and nonprofits must base their telephone tax refund on the actual amount of tax paid, but the IRS is considering an estimation method those groups may use for figuring the tax paid.
Comments and suggestions for simplifying the refund process for businesses and nonprofits can be e-mailed to Telephone.Tax@irs.gov. The deadline for these comments is Sept. 15.
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