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Momofateen

What Telephone Company Do You Use?

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As years have gone by it has become amazing to how phone companies keep adding on taxes and surcharges. Are we aware as consumers of the fact that all these charges are legitimate. What about some phone companies that allow third party providers to come on your bill and charge. So often alot of people don't even signup for stuff that these third party providers claim that they are charging for. Are you aware that even though your taxes and surcharges are .03, .21, .56 etc and can even a charge 5.61 which may add up to 6.41 in taxes. If they are charging a 100,000.00 people that comes up to 641,000.00 dollars alone in taxes that are supposely going to the government. But sometime those taxes are not clearly defined as to what the purpose is for charging people for this money. Don't think about it as 0.3 or 0.5. Think about how many people they are charging. People these phone companies are robbing us blindly with taxes and surcharges alone. Does anyone else feel the way that I do????? I can see one tax but 4 or 6 taxes and surcharges is too much. We need to speak out about these companies ripping us off. What do you have to say about this?

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We use embarq...and needless to say I am not pleased! At all!! I have my internet and phone through them, and my bill was supposed to total..$64....every month, no matter what...Yeah well that hasn't happened at all! And its very frustrating...trying to talk to them every month and asking about what the heck is going on...And getting absolutely NO WHERE...ugh...So until I find someone else...I am stuck with them...I can't stand it!!

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Did you know that when you call these phone companies and ask for a supervisor the supervisor doesn't want to take your call. They tell the rep to keep asking you questions while they are listening on the other end? If you add up your taxes and divide it the taxes on your bill with you monthly recurring charge you will see that they are charging too much in taxes it's somewhere around 37% of your bill. And also the modem always has to be shipped you they should be able to bring you the modem after all the technician can come out to your house if you need work done on your wires or jacks. why should you have to pay 14.95 in shipping and handling for a modem. If you want to read more about embarq put it in google and see what everyone is say about them. Ripoff

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Last updated Jan. 29, 2008

 

What is the telephone tax refund?

 

The telephone tax refund is a one-time payment available on your 2006 federal income tax return, designed to refund previously collected federal excise taxes on long-distance or bundled service. It is available to anyone who paid such taxes on landline, wireless, or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service.

 

Why is the government refunding these taxes?

 

Several recent federal court decisions have held that the tax does not apply to long-distance service as it is billed today. The IRS is following these decisions and refunding the portion of the tax charged on long-distance calls. The IRS is also refunding taxes collected on telephone service under plans that do not differentiate between long distance and local calls including bundled service.

 

The telephone tax continues to apply to local-only service, and the IRS is not refunding taxes charged on local-only service.

 

The IRS will refund the taxes paid on long-distance or bundled service billed to taxpayers for the period after Feb. 28, 2003, and before Aug. 1, 2006. Taxpayers should request this refund when they file their 2006 tax returns.

 

Who is eligible to request the telephone tax refund?

 

In general, any individual, business or nonprofit organization that paid the tax for long distance or bundled service billed after Feb. 28, 2003, and before Aug. 1, 2006, is eligible to request the refund.

 

What is a refund-eligible bundled service?

 

Bundled service is local and long distance service provided under a plan that does not separately state the charge for the local telephone service. Bundled service includes plans that provide both local and long distance service for either a flat monthly fee or a charge that varies with the elapsed transmission time for which the service is used. Telecommunications companies provide bundled service for both landline and wireless (cellular) service. If Voice over Internet Protocol service (VoIP) provides both local and long distance service and the charges are not separately stated, such service is bundled service.

 

The method of sending or receiving a call, such as on a landline telephone, wireless (cellular), or some other method, does not affect whether a service is local-only or bundled.

 

I made all my long-distance calls using prepaid telephone cards. Can I request the telephone tax refund?

 

Usually, no. In most cases, when you buy a prepaid phone card from a retailer, that business pays the tax. Because the business was liable for the tax, it, not you, would be entitled to request the refund.

 

Phone cards have been marketed in various ways. So, in some cases, you may have been charged the tax. If you bought prepaid phone cards, and you have a bill or receipt separately listing the three-percent federal excise tax on long-distance or bundled service, you are eligible to request the telephone tax refund.

 

If you "recharged" your prepaid phone card by purchasing additional minutes directly from the phone company, you are eligible to request the telephone tax refund. Generally, the phone company charges will show up on your credit card bill. The excise tax would be 3 percent of the amount shown on the credit card bill.

 

I made all my long-distance calls using a prepaid cell phone. Can I request the telephone tax refund?

 

Usually, no. The same rules that apply to prepaid phone cards also apply to prepaid cell phones.

 

In most cases, when you buy a prepaid cell phone from a retailer, that business pays the tax. Because the business was liable for the tax, it, not you, would be entitled to request the refund.

 

Prepaid cell phones have been marketed in various ways. So, in some cases, you may have been charged the tax. If you bought a prepaid cell phone, and you have a bill or receipt separately listing the three-percent federal excise tax on long-distance or bundled service, you are eligible to request the telephone tax refund.

 

As in the case of prepaid phone cards, if you "recharged" a prepaid cell phone by purchasing additional minutes from the phone company, you are eligible to request the telephone tax refund. Generally, the phone company charges will show up on your credit card bill. The excise tax would be 3 percent of the amount shown on the credit card bill.

 

Can I still request the refund?

 

If you were one of the people who did not request the refund on your tax year 2006 return, you can file an amended tax return for 2006. Individuals who did not have a filing requirement in 2006 can still use a special short form, Form 1040EZ-T, to request the refund. Individuals with low income, including many senior citizens not required to file a regular tax return, may qualify to use Form 1040EZ-T. You cannot request a refund of telephone excise taxes on your 2007 tax return.

 

To amend your individual 2006 tax return, you must file a Form 1040X. If the only change to your return is a request for a refund of the federal telephone excise tax, do the following:

 

Fill in the top portion of Form 1040X through line B.

On line 15, enter the amount being requested in columns B and C, and write “FTET” on the dotted line next to line 15.

Write “Federal Telephone Excise Tax” in Part II, Explanation of Changes.

Sign the Form 1040X (both spouses must sign if filing jointly) and mail it to the IRS processing center servicing your state. You can find the address on the Form 1040X instructions.

If you are requesting a refund of the actual amount of telephone excise taxes paid rather than the standard amount, you must complete and attach Form 8913, Credit for Federal Telephone Excise Tax Paid.

If you are making multiple changes to your 2006 tax return, you must fill the form out completely according to the instructions.

 

Requesting the standard amount is optional. It may be the easiest way to request a refund. A married couple filing a joint return with two dependent children, for example, will be eligible for the maximum standard amount of $60.

 

Individuals who decide not to use the standard amount must figure their refund using the actual amount of tax they paid. In some cases, choosing this option may result in a larger refund. To choose this option, individuals can fill out Form 8913 and attach it to their amended returns. Individuals can base their refund requests on phone bills and other records. Individuals need not have bills and records covering the entire 41-month period (March 2003 through July 2006), but they must have records adequate to support the refund amount they are requesting.

 

The standard amount is not available to businesses and nonprofits. Accordingly, businesses and nonprofits must fill out Form 8913 and base their refund requests on the actual amount of tax they paid. Businesses should attach this form to their amended income-tax returns — Form 1120, 1120S, 1065 or 1041. Nonprofits, including churches, charities and other tax-exempt organizations, should attach it to their amended Form 990-T.

 

Alternatively, businesses and tax-exempts can review their bills for 2 months (April and September 2006 bills) and use a special formula to figure the refund. For more information, see Telephone Tax Refunds: Questions and Answers for Businesses and Tax-Exempt Organizations.

 

I don’t have to file an income-tax return. How do I get the telephone tax refund?

 

For those people who do not otherwise have to file a tax return, there is a new simple form (1040EZ-T) that can be used to get this refund. Beginning in mid-January, this form can also be filed electronically for free via the Free File Web site.

 

If you choose the standard amount, all you need to do is fill out the 1040EZ-T using the number of exemptions you are eligible to claim. For example, a married couple with two dependent children (for a total of four exemptions) will be eligible for the maximum standard amount of $60.

 

If you decide not to use the standard amount, you must figure your refund using the actual amount of tax paid. In some cases, choosing this option may result in a larger refund. To choose this option, you must fill out an additional form (Form 8913) and attach it to Form 1040EZ-T. You can base your refund request on phone bills and other records. You need not have bills and records covering the entire 41-month period (March 2003 through July 2006), but you must have records adequate to support the refund amount you are requesting.

 

Can people who live outside the United States or in a U.S. territory request the telephone tax refund?

 

Usually, no. To request the refund, an individual must have paid the tax. Typically, only telecommunications service providers located in the fifty states or the District of Columbia are authorized to collect the tax. Thus, in most cases, people who live in Puerto Rico or a U.S. territory or possession did not pay the tax. Similarly, people living in foreign countries typically did not pay the tax to the U.S. government.

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In some cases, a U.S. citizen living abroad or a foreign national may have paid the tax, because they purchased long-distance or bundled service from a U.S.-based service provider. If, under these circumstances, the service provider collected the tax, the customer may request the telephone tax refund.

 

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.

The instructions to the 2006 1040 tax forms provide more information on how to determine the correct number of exemptions. (Because the term “exemptions” does not appear on Form 1040EZ, people who fill out this form should follow the instructions carefully.)

 

How did the government come up with the standard amounts?

 

The standard amount is based on actual telephone usage data, and the amount applicable to a family or other household reflects taxes paid on long-distance or bundled service by similarly sized families or households. Using this amount may be the easiest way for taxpayers to request their refund and avoid gathering months of old phone records.

 

Telephone industry and IRS data were used to determine the refundable standard amounts. The data showed that spending on long distance correlated directly with the number of persons in a household; therefore, a scaled refund structure was selected based on the number of exemptions a taxpayer is eligible to claim on their 2006 tax return.

 

How do I find the telephone excise tax charges on my old telephone bills?

 

Be sure that you are looking at the portion of your telephone bill that relates to long-distance or bundled service. Only the federal excise tax on long-distance or bundled service is eligible for refund.

 

For this purpose, bundled service is local and long-distance service provided under a plan that does not separately list the charge for local service. Bundled service includes, for example, phone plans that provide both local and long-distance service for either a flat monthly fee or a charge that varies with the time for which the service is used.

 

Once you locate the right section of the bill, here are some of the phrases to look for:

 

English-language phone bills

 

Federal

Federal Excise 3%

Federal Excise @ 3%

Federal Excise Tax

Federal Tax

Fed Excise Tax

FET

Spanish-language phone bills

 

Impuesto Indirecto Federal

Impuesto federal

Typically, this federal tax amount is not commingled with any other tax or surcharge on a customer's bill. In other words, it is normally shown as a separate line item. In some cases, phone companies stopped charging the tax on bills dated between May 25, 2006, and Aug. 1, 2006.

 

I only have records covering part of the 41-month period. Can I still request a telephone tax refund, based on the records I have?

 

Yes. You need not have bills and records covering the entire period, but you must have records adequate to support the refund amount you are requesting.

 

How do I determine how much federal excise tax I have paid on my long-distance service?

 

Taxpayers who choose to base their refund requests on the actual amount of tax paid should review their phone bills from March 2003 through July 2006. You need not have bills and records covering the entire refund period, but you must have records adequate to support the refund amount you are requesting.

 

Taxes paid on local-only service are not eligible for the refund. In general, federal excise taxes paid on other types of service qualify. Federal access charges and state or local taxes and charges are not eligible for the refund.

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