New newsletter format!

This month we have decided to improve our newsletter service by changing from the standard text format to a new html newsletter.  Through this format, we'll be able to keep in touch with you better, and offer a much better looking way of sending our monthly Back to Basics article.  Please send us feedback on whether or not you enjoy this new look.

This is your newsletter for July 2006. Please delete this paragraph before sending to your clients. You may add comments of your own before sending. If you need help, or wish to respond to this message, please send an email to . Do not simply click the reply button. Thank you,

JULY 2006 ARTICLE - copy and paste into new email to send to your clients.

Federal Telephone Tax - Refund

Added by on 7/07/06


Every telephone bill has a 3% Federal Telephone Tax listed as an itemized charge. The law clearly states that long distance phone calls based on time and distance are subject to the tax. For a number of years, most long distance phone calls have been based only on the length of time of the call.


Several years ago, a few large companies sued for a refund of the 3% tax that they had paid on their long distance phone calls. The IRS lost six consecutive cases in four different Circuit Courts and still refused to stop collecting the tax. Finally, in May, 2006, they lost in the Third Circuit Court based in Philadelphia. This was their seventh consecutive loss. At this point they finally decided to obey the law and stop collecting the tax on long distance phone calls.


As a result the IRS has announced that they will refund the 3% tax paid on long distance calls between February 28, 2003 and July 31, 2006. For most individuals the amount of tax paid is very small, probably less than $1/month. The IRS has decided to do the following:

  1. Taxpayers will be allowed to claim a refund of the tax paid on their 2006 Income Tax Return.

  1. The IRS will adopt a “safe harbor” amount. If you accept the “safe harbor” amount, you will not have to calculate the actual tax you paid, nor will you have to keep any of your past paid phone bills showing how much tax you paid.

  1. If you paid more than the “safe harbor” amount, you may claim the actual amount of tax paid, but you will have to save your phone bills to prove your claim if you are audited.

  1. Persons that have paid the telephone tax, but do not have enough income to file a tax return, will have to file a tax return for 2006 in order to collect the telephone tax refund.

  1. You cannot make an application for a refund if your long distance carrier has refunded the tax to you. In these cases, the long distance carrier has made an application for a refund of the tax that they collected.

  1. Corporations and partnerships will have to make a claim for the telephone tax using form 843.

We will not know how much the “safe harbor” amount will be until the IRS announces it. We expect the IRS to issue this information sometime in the late Fall. Interest will be paid on all claims, but it is not certain that interest will be paid if a taxpayer accepts the “safe harbor” amount.


Any refund that you receive will not be taxable, unless you deducted the cost of your phone bills as a business expense. Any interest that you receive on any claim will be taxable, even if the tax refund is not taxable.


Remember the refund is only on long distance phone calls. The tax is also charged on your basic phone service and such services as call waiting. The tax still applies to these services. Your long distance phone carrier should no longer be billing you the tax on long distance phone calls for any bills sent to you after June, 2006. If you are charged the tax on any bill issued after July 31, 2006, you will have to get a refund from your long distance carrier.


It is interesting to note that this tax was first enacted at 10% in 1898 to pay for the Spanish American War. I guess the Spanish American War was very expensive, since we are still paying the telephone tax.


Taxprosites Tip for July


Did you know that as a member, you have an included webmail account?  We don't recommend using it on a regular basis, but it is perfect for checking and sending email while you are on the road.


Webmail is provided as a convenience to our clients.  However, it should never replace using your regular method of retrieving email.  Use webmail when you are traveling on the road, or checking your mail from a home office.  While in the office, you should be using a program like Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, or Mozilla Thunderbird to retrieve, send, and save your emails.  If you have any problems using the system, please contact us through our support system.

To access your webmail account, you can point your browser to




Questions?  Comments?  Send email to