Last-Minute Tax Tip: Cell Phone Users Can Triple Their One-time Phone Tax Refund Without Searching Through Old Bills

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Cell phone users can claim a one-time phone tax credit of as much as $100 or more on their 2006 personal tax return instead of settling for the IRS' standard $30-$60. And contrary to popular belief, it won't take all that much time or effort, nor will it require that they pull out old phone bills, thanks to one company's innovative low-cost software that completes the computation in as little as 15 minutes.

If you're on a $69.99 per month wireless plan, you can get back about $100, and that's before even considering your land line long distance bill. If you're single, that's more than triple the standard credit of $30.

Cell phone users can claim a one-time phone tax credit of as much as $100 or more on their 2006 personal tax return instead of settling for the IRS' standard $30-$60. And contrary to popular belief, it won't take all that much time or effort, nor will it require that they pull out old phone bills, thanks to one company's innovative low-cost software that completes the computation in as little as 15 minutes.

"The full refund, including interest, is almost one and a half times your monthly long distance and cell phone bill before taxes," says Yosef Rabinowitz, Managing Director of TBRC Cost Recovery, LLC, a telecom consulting firm based in New York. "If you're on a $69.99 per month wireless plan, you can get back about $100, and that's before even considering your land line long distance bill. If you're single, that's more than triple the standard credit of $30."

The "catch" is that in order to claim the larger amount, you (or your accountant) must compute each calendar quarter's refund, plus interest, and then complete Form 8913. Ordinarily, this would mean up to 13 hours and 37 minutes of work, according to the Paperwork Reduction Notice that appears on the form. But if you don't have that kind of time, especially as April 15th approaches, there's a much faster way. TBRC offers Phone Tax Refund Calculator©, a downloadable spreadsheet template that does the computation for you and reduces the entire process to as little as 15 minutes, and at extremely low cost (just $4.95 at http://www.tbrc.com).

"Looked at another way," says Rabinowitz, "in exchange for as little as 15 minutes of your time, you can have an extra night out on the town courtesy of the US Government.

"And contrary to what you may have seen or heard in the news, you don't necessarily need to have your old cellular bills available," adds Rabinowitz, whose company is part of a CPA firm and primarily helps businesses reduce their telephone and internet costs, as well as get money back from their phone carriers for billing errors. "As long as you remember what plan you were on, you can claim the larger refund. Simply multiply the base fee by 3% and enter the result into the spreadsheet. Repeat this for each month of the refund period, using 'copy and paste' for each month that you were on the same plan, and you'll be done in a matter of minutes."

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Gerry Gillen
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