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IRS Warns About Scams

If you subscribed to long-distance telephone service between March 2003 and July 2006, you almost certainly paid a federal tax on your telephone bill. But recent court decisions ruled that the tax should not apply. So the IRS has developed standard refund amounts based on the number of exemptions you claim.

The standard refund will be $30 for one exemption, $40 for two, $50 for three, and $60 for four or more.

These amounts are based on a survey of average telephone taxes paid by families of different sizes. If you don't want to take the standard refund, you can always go through 41 months of telephone bills and figure the actual amount you paid. Then you'll need to fill out a form to make your claim.

You'll receive your refund when you file your 2006 tax return. As of now, businesses and nonprofits will have to detail the actual taxes they paid to receive their refunds. However, the IRS is trying to develop simplified methods for them too, so don't go through your bills just yet.

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