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more on U.S. Treasury mulls end of phone excise tax - WSJ
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2006 15:51:49 -0400



Begin forwarded message:

From: Hank Levine <hlevine () lb3law com>
Date: April 14, 2006 3:37:57 PM EDT
To: dave () farber net
Subject: RE: [IP] U.S. Treasury mulls end of phone excise tax - WSJ

As the lead attorney on the majority of the lawsuits that led to this
(including 2 of the 3 appellate decisions) I should offer a couple of
comments.

First, Treasury Secretary Snow told Congress in mid-February that if the
Government lost one more appeal -- including its then-pending petition for
rehearing en banc in the 6th Circuit -- it would give up.  It lost the
petition for rehearing on March 30th. FYI, three more appellate cases have been heard since then (in the 3rd, 2nd, and Federal Circuits) and in all of
them the Government and its arguments received a frosty reception.

Second, the idea of three years of refunds is new. Given how cumbersome the
excise tax refund process is [each taxpayer has to file a separate
multi-page form for each quarter for which s/he seeks a refund, and then
prove that s/he was billed on a non-distance sensitive basis and that the bill was paid] it will be interesting to see what the Government comes up
with to implement this, assuming the story is accurate.

Finally, I don't know where the $60 billion number comes from, but it's pure horses**t. The long distance tax -- the one that's been struck down by the courts -- produces $1.6 billion in revenue each year. Local services are taxed, but they are not attacked by the lawsuits and therefore will continue and not be subject to refunds. Refunding the excise taxes collected on cell phone service could double the amount (or even a bit more), but there's no
way to get close to the number quoted.

Happy Passover and Easter to all.

Hank Levine
Levine, Blaszak, Block & Boothby, LLP
2001 L Street, NW., Suite 900
Washington, DC 20036
* (202) 857-2540
*    Fax (202) 223-0833
*  hlevine () lb3law com

-----Original Message-----
From: David Farber [mailto:dave () farber net]
Sent: Friday, April 14, 2006 3:24 PM
To: ip () v2 listbox com
Subject: [IP] U.S. Treasury mulls end of phone excise tax - WSJ



Begin forwarded message:

From: Richard Forno <rforno () infowarrior org>
Date: April 14, 2006 1:54:53 PM EDT
To: Infowarrior List <infowarrior () attrition org>
Cc: Dave Farber <dave () farber net>
Subject: U.S. Treasury mulls end of phone excise tax - WSJ

U.S. Treasury mulls end of phone excise tax - WSJ
Fri Apr 14, 2006 5:54am ET10

NEW YORK, April 14 (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury Department is
developing a
plan to discontinue a 3 percent federal excise tax on long-distance and
wireless telephone calls and to refund billions of dollars to
consumers and
businesses that have paid it, the Wall Street Journal said on Friday.

"Government officials are holding closely guarded discussions on how
to best
handle the repayment process as well as mitigate the impact of about $60
billion in potential refunds and lost federal revenues over the next
five
years," the Journal said.

The planned end of the tax follows more than a half dozen court
rulings in
recent years that the government is misapplying the tax. The courts have
ordered refunds to companies that sued over the charges.

Rather than continue to fight similar pending lawsuits, the Treasury has
decided to concede defeat and discontinue the tax, the report said,
citing
government officials.

C Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.\

http://yahoo.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?
type=topNews&storyid=urn:news
ml:reuters.com:20060414:MTFH76429_2006-04-14_09-54-11_N14277438&rpc=44




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