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Telephone Excise Tax Refund

Updated June 1, 2012

Refund Program Ends July 27

As stated in Announcement 2012-16, the IRS Telephone Excise Tax Refund (TETR) program will end on Friday, July 27, 2012. This means that the IRS will not process any Telephone Excise Tax Refund requests submitted after that date.

Taxpayers should note that an April 10, 2012 federal court decision invalidated Notice 2006-50, from that date forward.

Any eligible taxpayer who hasn’t already received a Telephone Excise Tax Refund can use the procedures described on this web page and originally described under Notice 2006-50. For someone who previously filed an income tax return for 2006, this means filing an amended return for that year on Form 1040X and requesting the TETR on Line 14 of that form.

As a result of the same court decision, the IRS will also process TETR program requests filed on Form 843.


The Telephone Excise Tax Refund (TETR) was a one-time payment available on your tax year 2006 federal income tax return. It was designed to refund excise taxes previously collected on long distance telephone services billed after Feb. 28, 2003, and before Aug. 1, 2006. Most phone customers, including most cell-phone users, qualified for the refund. More than 70 percent of individuals who were eligible to request the refund did so last year on their tax year 2006 tax returns.  

If you did not request the refund on your tax year 2006 tax return, you can file an amended tax return for 2006. You cannot request a refund of telephone excise taxes on your tax year 2007 tax return.

A request for a refund of the actual amount of taxes paid should not exceed 3 percent of your total phone bill for long distance or bundled service billed after Feb. 28, 2003 and before Aug. 1, 2006. Avoid tax return preparers who falsely claim that many, if not most, phone customers can get hundreds of dollars or more back under this program.

Tips for Requesting the Refund

Individuals and businesses who did not claim the refund last year can find out how to claim it this year by amending their tax year 2006 tax return.   

Questions? We've got answers.

This refund will be the most wide-reaching in IRS history — more than 160 million filers may request it. That's a lot of questions.

If you don't find your answer, follow the instructions at the bottom of the Qs and As for contacting the IRS for assistance.

Related Items

  • IR-2007-144, Phone Customers Can Still Request Excise Tax Refund, IRS Says
  • Justice Department news release, Miami Return Preparer Sentenced for Telephone Excise Tax Fraud
  • Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, and its instructions (PDF)
  • Form 8913 and its instructions (PDF)
  • Notice 2007-11, Communications Excise Tax; Toll Telephone Service (PDF)
  • IR-2007-40, 10 Million Taxpayers Miss Out on Telephone Tax Refunds; IRS Urges People to Check before Filing
  • IR-2007-36, IRS Moves to Stop Abusive Telephone Tax Refund Requests; Search Warrants Target Tax Preparers in Seven Cities Nationwide
  • IR-2007-27, IRS Moves to Prevent Telephone Tax Refund Abuse; Help Taxpayers Make Accurate Requests
  • IR-2007-26, IRS Begins Processing Returns Claiming Extender Deductions; Urges Taxpayers to File Electronically, Check on Phone Tax Refund
  • IR-2007-21, Mistakes Abound on Telephone-Tax Refund Requests; IRS Offers Tips for Getting a Speedy Refund
  • IR-2007-16, Some Telephone Tax Refund Requests May Be Too High; IRS Will Deny Improper Requests
  • FS-2007-12, Tax Return Preparer Fraud
  • IR-2006-179, Businesses and Tax-Exempts Can Use Formula for Telephone Tax Refund
  • IR-2006-137, IRS Announces Standard Amounts for Telephone Tax Refunds
  • IR-2006-82, Government to Stop Collecting Long-Distance Telephone Tax
  • Treasury Department news release, Treasury Announces End to Long-Distance Telephone Excise Tax
  • Notice 2006-50, Communications Excise Tax; Toll Telephone Service (PDF)
Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 28-Apr-2014