the Phone Tax
To refuse the federal excise tax on local-only telephone
service simply deduct that amount from your monthly phone bill(s). The bill covering local service should show an item labeled “Federal Excise Tax” or “Federal Tax.” (The tax does not apply to long distance calling or mixed used services like cell phone service.)
When you pay the bill(s) less the tax, enclose one of our forms or your own note
explaining that you are not paying the tax because of opposition to military spending,
Some phone companies require that you notify them each time you pay
or else the unpaid tax will accumulate as “balance due.” Others have
actually refunded the tax when accidentally paid! Do not allow the tax to accumulate
as a balance due. If it does, contact the phone company and complain. The phone
company should credit your account and report the unpaid tax on a quarterly basis
to the IRS. Some companies (notably Verizon in some regions of the country) have
been especially uncooperative in crediting bills for the unpaid phone tax. But
with persistence, when necessary asking to speak with a supervisor, contacting
the company frequently (so as not to allow the bill to accumulate too much), most
telephone tax resisters have succeeded in getting the company to credit the tax.
Some have taken to writing the CEOs of their phone company on a regular basis
about these problems.
However, other companies have been more cooperative at times. AT&T has a form that resisters
can fill out, authorizing the company to withhold billing of the federal tax for
“war tax” reasons, while noting that this nonpayment will be reported
to the IRS.
*Note that the taxes labeled “Federal
USF Surchage,” “FCC Line Charge,” or “Federal Relay Charge”
are not war taxes to be resisted. For more detail on phone bill charges, see the
on Your Phone Bill page.