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600 E. Boulevard Ave.
  Bismarck, ND 58505-0599
  701.328.7088 phone
  701.328.3700 fax
  877.328.7088 toll-free
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Cory Fong, Tax Commissioner, 701-328-2770
Monday, March 12, 2007

Fong Reminds Taxpayers To Check Into Federal Telephone Tax Refund

BISMARCK, N.D. – Tax Commissioner Cory Fong today reminded North Dakota taxpayers to be sure to claim the federal telephone excise tax refund. Early IRS filing statistics indicate that about 30 percent of taxpayers who have already filed did not request the federal tax refund.

“This one-time refund is for the federal telephone excise taxes people paid on their land line or cell phone,” said Fong. “Taxpayers can request the refund when they file their 2006 federal income tax return.”

Taxpayers can request a standard amount that ranges from $30 to $60, based on the number of exemptions they are eligible to claim. Or, taxpayers may claim the actual amount paid based on their phone bills and other records from March 2003 through July 2006.

The refund is a result of a federal court decision that declared the tax invalid and the government stopped collecting the tax on long-distance calls. In general, any individual, business, or nonprofit organization that paid long-distance tax on land line or cell phone calls from March 2003 through July 2006 is eligible for the refund.

“The best way to avoid mistakes and get a refund quickly is to file electronically,” said Fong. “The one-time telephone tax refund is an example of how using e-file software or a tax preparer ensures taxpayers accurately claim all the exemptions and credits they are eligible to receive.”

Taxpayers can claim the refund when filing the 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ tax forms. A special line is included on the returns for taxpayers to request the refund. The refund is also available to consumers who are not required to file a return, such as many retirees and others with limited incomes by using Form 1040EZ-T. To claim the actual amount, taxpayers need to use Form 8913.

Taxpayers do not need to present proof for requesting the standard amount. And, those taxpayers who claim the actual amount of tax paid based on their phone bills and other records should be sure to retain those documents in case the IRS questions the amount requested.

Additional information on the IRS telephone tax refund program is available from the IRS web site at www.irs.gov or by calling the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. Consumers may call their local IRS office: Bismarck at 701.221.5834; Fargo at 701.232.4710; Grand Forks at 701.746.5283; or Minot at 701.839.7741.

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