Here’s a quick way to get a few extra bucks. Or, more precisely, to get back a few bucks you’ve already lost. This year the IRS is granting a one-time only Telephone Excise Tax Refund. This refund will return previously collected telephone taxes collected since 2003. According to the IRS web site:
[Individual] taxpayers have a choice: a standard refund amount between $30 and $60, based on the total number of exemptions claimed on their 2006 tax return, to eliminate the need to locate old phone bills; or they can locate those bills and use the actual amount.
OmniNerd points out that if you have the records, it can be well-worth computing the full refund. It takes more work, and you have to fill out a special form, but your payback may be huge.
The issue is, then, is filling out the form worth the effort? The short answer is: Probably. Of course, this depends on the individual case, but my experience shows that filling out the form more than quadrupled my refund over the standard $40 I would have received.
Remember this refund if you’re filing your taxes yourself. Be sure to check that it’s included if you pay somebody to prepare your taxes. For more information, check out the article at Snopes.
[Internal Revenue Service: Telephone Excise Tax Refund]