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Buzzword: Excise tax

Marketplace Staff Feb 2, 2007

Unclaimed treasure bring us this week’s Marketplace Money buzzword: Excise tax.

The excise tax was a federal levee you used to pay on long-distance phone service. It was enacted in 1898 . . . as a luxury tax, because only a few thousand phone lines existed. Last year, the IRS cancelled it after complaints that, well, times have changed.

This year, individuals can claim a one-time excise refund of at least 30 bucks. But only a third of early filers have done so.

OPERATOR: Hello, tax payers. We have free money on the line. Please accept the call.

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