Friday, December 08, 2006

Speaking Of Taxes...

Here's a tax tip. The government owes you a refund. You know the excise tax you've been paying on your phone bill--the one that's supposed to pay for the Spanish American War? I didn't think so. I didn't know about it either. It seems that we've been getting milked for that particular adventure in international conflict for a long time--a very long time. The Motley Fool started pointing out the problem with this situation about a year ago, and it turns out that Congress didn't really have a justification for continuing to collect revenue to pay for a war that started, and ended, in 1898. They've finally rescinded the-tax-that-overstayed-its-welcome. (Not that any of them are particularly welcome, but this one just moved into an unused portion of the house and stayed there, unnoticed, drinking the children's milk and eating the last of the pie.) Not only has the tax been dropped, but now you can get part of it back. Needless to say, there's paperwork involved, but for most of us it's just a standard deduction on the 1040 form, so it shouldn't be too painful. Just make sure you claim the refund when you do your 2006 taxes (in 2007.) Follow the link above to get more details, and more links to even more details, and so on. If you're in the mood to keep even more of your money come tax time, and are looking for some more deductions, here's some common ones that people miss. Drive a hybrid car? Pay part of your own health insurance? Getting higher education? There could be something there for you.

Hat tip: IMAO