Airline passengers who bought tickets on or before July 22 for
travel on or after July 23 are probably due a refund of the federal
taxes they paid on their tickets. The problem will be actually
getting the refund.
Congress adjourned July 22 without passing legislation
authorizing the Federal Aviation Administration's operating
authority, leaving the administration without the ability to
collect air transportation excise taxes. So ticket taxes don't
apply to air travel starting July 23.
The IRS has asked airlines to provide refunds to eligible
passengers who request them, according to an
IRS statement on airline ticket taxes
. Alaska Airlines
states on its Web site
that it's working on a process to help its passengers collect
refunds. However, other airlines -- such as JetBlue, United and
Frontier Airlines -- are instructing passengers to contact the IRS
for a refund.
The IRS says passengers who can't get a refund from the airline
will need to submit proof of taxes paid and travel dates "under
procedures that are under development. The IRS will provide
additional guidance at a later date."
Our advice: Gather the evidence you need to get a refund, be
patient while the IRS develops its procedures and check back here
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