Thursday, May 25, 2006

Is Hell Freezing Over?

A tax on long distance service dating back to the late 1800s and used to help finance the Spanish American war is being repealed and more amazing, the government says you can reclaim some of the money on next year's tax return. Details here.

Efforts are still underway to eliminate an excise tax on local phone service.

So taxpayers won't have to spend time digging through old telephone bills, we're designing a straightforward process that taxpayers may use when they file their tax returns next year, said IRS Commissioner Mark Everson. "Claiming a refund will be simple and fair."

[Treasury Secretary] Snow said he could not specify how much of the refund might be made to businesses and how much to individuals, or estimate the size of refund an average individual could expect to get.

He also urged Congress to repeal the excise tax on local telephone service. The Justice Department had appealed in U.S. courts to keep the long-distance tax but was turned back several times."

Did it just get frosty in Hell? How unreadable and obscure are other sections of a typical phone bill?

In an unrelated yet pertinent event, I noticed in a movie from 1989 that a character was speaking to someone thru a device that was a heavy-looking rectangle of black with a curly cord attached to one end ... and I thought, how many people have never used a phone with one of those unmanageable loops of cord connecting a handset to a base? (Handset?? Base???)

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