Telephone Excise Tax Refund


Notice: Historical Content

This is an archival or historical document and may not reflect current law, policies or procedures.

Updated June 1, 2012

Refund Program Ends July 27

As stated in Announcement 2012-16 PDF, 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 PDF, 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.

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