LABELLE, FL. -- The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) is encouraging
taxpayers to take advantage of a one-time-only telephone tax refund. This tax season, most taxpayers will easily qualify for a standard telephone excise tax refund, ranging from $30 to $60. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reports
more than 30% of early filers in Florida have not requested the refund, including many people using tax preparers.
The federal government stopped collecting the long-distance excise tax last August after several federal court decisions ruled the tax does not apply to long-distance service as it is billed today. Federal officials authorized a one-time refund of the federal excise tax collected on service billed during the previous 41 months, stretching from the beginning of March 2003 to the end of July 2006. The tax continues to apply to local-only phone service.
To make the refund easier to figure, the federal government established a standard refund amount, based on personal exemptions, ranging from $30 to $60. If taxpayers have phone bills and other records, they can request the actual amount of excise tax paid. Taxpayers only have to fill out one line on their return, and they don't need to present proof to the IRS.