Telephone Tax Refund - don't forget!

Most of us who had a phone these past few years are entitled to a telephone tax refund of $30 - $60. Here's the info from the IRS website. I found this out after I had mailed out my tax forms, so I have to wait eight weeks to file an amended return.

Who is eligible to request the telephone tax refund?

Any individual, business or nonprofit org that paid taxes for long distance or bundled service billed after Feb. 28, 2003, and before Aug. 1, 2006. (We've all seen those taxes in our phone bill.)

What is the standard amount?

Individual taxpayers can take a standard amount from $30 to $60 based on the number of exemptions they are eligible to claim on their 2006 tax return. For those who can claim:
  • One exemption, the standard refund amount is $30
  • Two exemptions, the standard refund amount is $40
  • Three exemptions, the standard refund amount is $50
  • Four exemptions or more, the standard refund amount is $60

What forms do I file to request the refund?

If you take the standard amount, there are no additional forms to file; you only need to fill out one additional line on your regular income-tax return.
  • Form 1040, Line 71
  • Form 1040A, Line 42
  • Form 1040EZ, Line 9

After I filed my 2006 return, I discovered that I qualify for the telephone tax refund. Can I still request the refund?

Yes. You can get it by filing an amended return using Form 1040X.

You normally have three years to file an amended return. Form 1040X cannot be filed electronically; it must be filed on paper. To avoid refund delays, mail your completed Form 1040X at least three weeks after you filed your original return (if it was e-filed) or at least eight weeks later (if filed on paper).