February 27, 2021

Bucks: Getting a Refund for Taxes Paid on Airfares

Earlier this week our colleague Joe Sharkey reported on a lapse in federal airfare taxes. Congress failed last week to authorize airlines to continue to collect taxes on domestic and international flights. In theory, that would mean lower fares. But most airlines decided instead to raise their ticket prices by about the amount of the taxes.

Some airline passengers are being asked to wait -- for a tax refund.Richard Drew/Associated PressSome airline passengers are being asked to wait — for a tax refund.

The expiration of the tax, though, leaves some fliers in an unusual situation: they paid taxes on tickets bought before the tax lapsed on Saturday at 12:01 a.m. for travel during the tax expiration period. Are they entitled to a refund?

Yes, says the Internal Revenue Service.

In a statement released Wednesday, the agency said it “has asked the airlines to provide refunds to eligible passengers when requested.” It said the airlines would already have payment information on file for these fliers.

On the other hand, the statement tacitly acknowledged that getting your money back might not be as straightforward as just asking for it. So the I.R.S. said it would have a claims procedure for requesting refunds that would require passengers to provide documentation to prove they paid the tax. But the procedure has not yet been developed.

If you paid taxes to an airline for a flight during the tax lapse, and you need to file a claim for a refund, your best bet is to keep your eye on this I.R.S. page.

Are you flying during the tax lapse? Has your airline been cooperative in issuing a refund? And is this the best way for the I.R.S. to handle a sudden policy change due to an act — or non-act — of Congress?

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=b8bdf1b73f05c2a0a4be12dc0b7b7c25

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