The Telephone Excise Tax Refund (TETR)

The documents below provide information on the Telephone Excise Tax Refund, a one-time payment administered primarily through the 2006 federal income tax return and available to nearly everyone who paid a phone bill between February 2003 and August 2006. With an estimated $10 billion available for individuals and $10 billion for businesses, TETR is the largest refund of its kind in US history. However, as of April, 2008 the program had failed to return an estimated $8 billion to taxpayers. And less than 5 percent of the estimated 20 million lowest-income households eligible for a refund had been repaid the invalid tax. While the April 2006 tax filing deadline has past, claims can be made for three years–until 2010.

The following documents explain the refund, the program’s progress (or lack there of) and how to file a refund claim. They also propose corrective measures that could be taken by Congress.

Time Running Out to Claim Largest Refund in U.S. History (April 9, 2007)

How Families and Businesses Can Still Reclaim Billions from the Telephone Tax Fund (May 9, 2007)

Five Easy Steps to Your Tel. Tax Refund If You Don’t File Income Taxes (Aug. 7, 2007)

The Telephone Excise Tax Refund: A Proposal for Corrective Action by Congress (Sept. 13, 2007)

TETR: Program Fails to Return $8 Billion; Taxpayers Can Still File Claims (July 25, 2008)