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May 21, 2007

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It's laziness, no doubt.

Sure, checking a box to save $30 isn't a lot of work. But reading a full sentence too? Whoa there, let's put the brakes on the work trolley.

This is the same reason that people don't call their credit card companies to dispute charges, don't consolidate student loans, don't request interest rate decreases, and don't sign up for automatic bill paying.

In the same vein, plenty of "Service providers" will give you a service free of charge for a month and then start charging you unless you cancel? Why do they do this? Because they know a good portion of those people simply "can't be bothered" to call up and cancel.

Anyone who is suprised by this is clearly laboring under the false assumption that common sense is actually common.

Cory --

I almost spit out my tea laughing at your second paragraph!!!!! ;-)

I actually passed on this because I'm not 100% sure I had phone service during this time. I *think* I did, but it's not worth a call from the IRS... just in case.

I think most people are ignorant of the telephone refund. Most of my peers in the mid to late 20s age bracket hardly knew what I was talking about and I had to give them research before they would file for their refunds.

My wife is the exact opposite of these lazy folks. She not only claimed the refund, but she went back through all of our pertinent phone bills (yes, she had them ALL on file, all 6-7 years of them) and itemized them out to get a bigger refund (though not the thousands that the scammers were claiming). It took her 5 minutes to do. We're not turning down free money, especially not from the government!

I remember back when I was in my early teens and my older brother had to file taxes for the first time. He said he didn't want to do it even though he was going to get about a $30 refund. $30 is a lot to a boy without a job, so I volunteered to do it (with the understanding I would be able to keep the money when it came in). Wouldn't you know it... just as I was about to start he changed his mind!

I think he was intimidated and lazy. I still think a lot of people have that feeling when it comes to taxes.

It's probably part laziness and part people like my mom, who, had I not done her taxes, wouldn't have claimed the credit because she didn't know about it. I know, I know, it was all over the place, but an awful lot of people are so caught up in their own lives they can't be bothered to find out what's going on anywhere else.

I'm going with confusion. The US tax code isn't exactly the most straightforward thing ever written. My fear of getting audited over exemptions I'm not certain I qualify for supercedes my desire to make an easy $30.

This was the easiest $30 ever - do you think the IRS is going to audit over $30!!! I am glad that people don't do thinks like consolidate, use gift certificates and pay unneccessary cc charges because that makes it easier for those of us who pay attention to make money. If no one paid cc interest, I would not have made a $250 bonus with the Chase Freedom card.

My husband and I figured that it wouldn't apply to us - we've never paid for long-distance service except with a phone card at a pay phone (when still in college). We moved to cell phones (with long-distance service included) around the time I finished school.

Sure, we could have filed for the easy $30... but it just wasn't the right thing to do.

The only reason I knew about it was because I used tax prep software.

I'm guessing many just didn't understand it.

I have had a cell phone for the whole time and never had land line service. I thought about checking the box, then I went to church that night and our pastor spoke about being honest.....Needless to say I chickened out!

My tax advisor said that it applied to cell phones. The illegal tax for which this was a refund, was also on wireless bills.

Yep, I did it! $30 is $30. I may be the only person left who doesn't have a cell phone.

You can find the following statement at

http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=161506,00.html

"What is a refund-eligible bundled service?

Bundled service is local and long distance service provided under a plan that does not separately state the charge for the local telephone service. Bundled service includes plans that provide both local and long distance service for either a flat monthly fee or a charge that varies with the elapsed transmission time for which the service is used. Telecommunications companies provide bundled service for both landline and wireless (cellular) service. If Voice over Internet Protocol service (VoIP) provides both local and long distance service and the charges are not separately stated, such service is bundled service.

The method of sending or receiving a call, such as on a landline telephone, wireless (cellular), or some other method, does not affect whether a service is local-only or bundled."

I have only used a cellphone since 2001. I and my wife were eligible for this refund.

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