December 15, 2006
By statute, Alaska's Attorney General serves as the public advocate for regulatory affairs, including regulated utility matters. The long-distance excise tax was originally created in 1898 to fund the Spanish American War. The IRS has collected a 3% excise tax since 1990 but a series of federal court decisions ruled that the tax has been unlawfully collected.
Individuals, businesses, and nonprofit organizations are entitled to receive the one-time refund but must make the claim on their regular 2006 income tax return. Individual taxpayers can claim a standard refund amount, or can determine their refund amount by figuring the actual amount of tax paid if they review their phone bills for the period between February 28, 2003 to August 1, 2006. Businesses and nonprofits must claim their refund based upon the actual amount of tax paid.
The standard refund amount for individuals depends upon the number of exemptions they claim on their tax return but varies between thirty dollars ($30.00) for a single taxpayer up to sixty dollars ($60.00) for a family of four. Economists at the U.S. Department of the Treasury estimate that the total amount refunded to individuals will be about $10 billion.
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