Friday, May 26, 2006

Phone Tax Laid to Rest at Age 108 - New York Times

Phone Tax Laid to Rest at Age 108 - New York Times:--Good. Now that we've taken that back from them, let's go take back something else. We need to whittle this collection arm of the Federal Reserve Bank down to size. Soon.

"Bowing to changes in technology and pressure from taxpayers and phone companies, the Treasury Department said yesterday that it would scrap the 108-year-old federal excise tax on long-distance phone calls. The move will bring consumers and businesses about $15 billion in refunds on next year's tax returns.
The decision, which applies to cellphones and Internet phone services and some landlines, follows a series of court reversals for the government. Large businesses had successfully sued the Internal Revenue Service to recoup the taxes they paid. Phone companies also wanted the tax abolished to relieve them of having to collect it.
Originally a luxury tax to help pay for the Spanish-American War, the 3 percent surcharge was calculated based on the length of the call and the distance of the connection. But as unlimited long-distance calling plans became commonplace, and the tax was applied to a flat monthly fee, some taxpayers argued that the tax no longer applied to them because the duration and distance of a call were irrelevant."

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