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How to Obtain the Telephone Excise Tax Refund

Safe Harbor Method


Determine the number of exemptions you will be claiming.


Calculate your refund based on the exemptions: standard refund--$30, two exemptions--$40, three exemptions--$50 and more than three exemptions--$60.


Enter the refund amount on your tax form.

Actual Charges Method


Collect your telephone bills.


Add the federal excise tax charges for those periods in groups of three months. The first series of three will be March, April and May of 2003.


Enter the calculated amount on Form 8913.


Compute any possible interest.

Tips and Warnings

  • It is much easier to use the safe harbor method.
  • Most 2007 tax preparation programs calculate the amount of refund for you.
  • The refund credit goes on line 71, page 2 for Form 1040. On other forms in the 1040 series, it goes on line 42 on page 2 of Form 1040A, line 9 on the front form of Form 1040EZ, line 69 on page 2 of Form 1040NR and line 21 on the front of Form 1040NR-EZ.
  • You will find the excise tax amount in the detailed charges of the long distance section of your bill.
  • Do not include federal regulatory charges.

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