General Instructions

Purpose of Form

Form 8913 is used to request a credit or refund of the federal excise tax paid on long distance or bundled telephone service that was billed after February 28, 2003, and before August 1, 2006. You cannot request a credit or refund for the tax paid on local-only service or charges in connection with local-only service. See Definitions on
page 2.

You may request a credit or refund if you:

  • Have not received from the service provider a credit or refund of the tax paid on long distance or bundled service billed after February 28, 2003, and before August 1, 2006, and

  • Will not ask the service provider for a credit or refund or have withdrawn any request submitted to the provider for a credit or refund.

Claim caution
Do not file Form 8913 if you are requesting the standard amount on your individual tax return.

Requests cannot be filed on Form 8849, Form 720, or Form 843 for this credit or refund; the IRS will not process these claims. If you filed a claim prior to May 25, 2006, you or your representative should have received a letter from the IRS explaining how your claim will be processed. If you or your representative have not received a letter or an IRS agent has not contacted you, call toll-free 1-866-699-4096 for assistance.

How To Figure Your Credit or Refund

There are two methods to figure your credit or refund on Form 8913.

  • Figure your actual credit or refund. You will need your phone bills for the 41-month refund period.

  • If eligible, you can figure your actual credit or refund using the Business and Nonprofit Estimation Method.

Who Must File

All of the following must file Form 8913 if they want to request a credit or refund of the federal telephone excise tax.

  • All corporations, partnerships, estates, trusts, and nonprofit organizations.

  • Any individual who can be claimed as a dependent by someone else. A person who can be claimed as a dependent is eligible to request a credit or refund of the telephone excise tax if the dependent paid the tax on long distance or bundled service. However, the dependent must file Form 8913 and figure the actual amount of credit or refund. A dependent cannot request the standard amount.

Others Who May File

Individuals

Standard amounts are available for individuals to request a credit or refund of the tax instead of figuring the actual amount on Form 8913. See the 2006 Instructions for
Form 1040, Form 1040A, Form 1040EZ, Form 1040NR, Form 1040NR-EZ, Form 1040-PR, Form 1040-SS, or new Form 1040EZ-T, Request for Refund of Federal Telephone Excise Tax. However, individuals who want to request a credit or refund greater than the standard amount must file Form 8913. Individuals filing Schedule C, Schedule C-EZ, Schedule E, Schedule F, or Form 4835 may benefit by figuring the actual amount of credit or refund on Form 8913.

1040EZ-T tip
The IRS has developed Form 1040EZ-T for use by individuals who are otherwise not required to file a tax return. Individuals who file Form 1040EZ-T can request the standard amount or use Form 8913 to request a refund. Form 1040EZ-T is available on the IRS website at www.irs.gov.

Individuals filing Schedule C, Schedule C-EZ, Schedule E, Schedule F, or Form 4835.   Individuals who figure the actual amount of credit or refund must do so for all of their phone service included in the credit or refund request. You cannot request the standard amount for your personal lines and also request the actual amount for your business lines.

Deceased Taxpayers

If a taxpayer died after 2005 but before filing a return for 2006, the taxpayer's spouse or personal representative may have to file Form 8913 (if he or she is not requesting the standard amount) and attach it to the individual income tax return for that taxpayer or to Form 1040EZ-T. For more information on filing for a deceased taxpayer, see the instructions for your individual tax return.

If the taxpayer died before 2006, Form 1041 must be filed for 2006, even if the estate is closed. Attach Form 8913 to that return.

Entities No Longer in Existence or No Longer in Business

If an entity was the subject of a merger or acquisition and it will not be filing a 2006 income tax return, the surviving or acquiring corporation must include on its Form 8913 any tax for the months of the refund period the dissolved entity was in existence and paid the tax. If the entity is no longer in business or is no longer in existence, the transferee must file Form 8913. The transferee must include any tax on long distance or bundled service from the entity no longer in existence with the transferee's own Form 8913.

Credit or Refund Requests by Service Providers

A service provider is the person responsible for paying over the tax to the government, generally the telecommunications company that provides communications services to the taxpayer. A provider cannot use Form 8913 to request a credit or refund for long distance or bundled service billed to customers of the provider. See the Instructions for
Form 720.

Providers may request a credit or refund on Form 8913 for long distance or bundled service billed to the provider.

Recordkeeping

Do not attach any phone bills or other records to Form 8913. However, all taxpayers must keep records to support the credit or refund request.

phone company records
Service providers are not required to provide duplicate billing records to their customers.

How To File

Attach Form 8913 to your return for the tax year that includes December 31, 2006.

Definitions

Local-Only Service

Local-only service means (a) access to a local telephone system (but not private communications service) and the privilege of telephonic quality communication with substantially all persons having telephone or radio telephone stations constituting a part of such local telephone system, and (b) any facility or service provided in connection with such a service.

Local-only service includes the charges for the following services, even though they may be connected with long distance service.

  • Telephone amplifier.

  • Automatic call distributing equipment.

  • Special telephone.

  • Subscriber line charge (or access charge if separately stated).

A universal service fee charge is considered local-only service if it is separately stated on the bill for local-only service.

If local and long distance service is billed to a customer on a single bill, but the charges for local-only service and long distance service are separately stated, then the amount for local-only service is subject to the 3% communications excise tax.

Bundled Service

Bundled service is local and long distance service provided under a plan that does not separately state the charge for the local telephone service. Bundled service includes plans that provide both local and long distance service for either a flat monthly fee or a charge that varies with the elapsed transmission time for which the service is used. Telecommunications companies provide bundled service for both landlines and wireless (cellular) service. If Voice over Internet Protocol service provides both local and long distance service and the charges are not separately stated, such service is bundled service.

The method for sending or receiving a call, such as on a landline telephone, wireless (cellular), or some other method, does not affect whether a service is local-only or bundled.

Prepaid Telephone Cards (PTC)

A PTC will be treated as bundled service unless a PTC expressly states it is for local-only service. Generally, the person responsible for collecting the tax is the carrier who transfers the PTC to the transferee. The transferee is the first person that is not a carrier to whom a PTC is transferred by the carrier. The transferee is the person liable for the tax and is eligible to request a credit or refund. For more information, see Regulations section 49.4251-4.

The holder is the person that purchases a PTC to use and not to resell. Holders are not liable for the tax and cannot request a credit or refund.

Example 1.

Z purchases a PTC from S. Z uses the PTC to place telephone calls. Z is a holder and cannot request a credit or refund.

Example 2.

S purchased the PTC from O. O is a transferee that purchased the card from R. R is a carrier. O is eligible to request a credit or refund. S cannot request a credit or refund because S did not purchase the PTC from the carrier.

Prepaid Cellular Telephones

Rules similar to the PTC rules above apply to prepaid cellular telephones. The transferee is the person eligible to request the credit or refund.

Long Distance Service

Long distance service is telephonic quality communication with persons whose telephones are outside the local telephone system of the caller.

Additional Information

For more information, see Notice 2006-50, which is available on page 1141 of Internal Revenue Bulletin 2006-25 at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-irbs/irb06-25.pdf.


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