IRS asks airlines to refund tax on plane tickets sold before July 23

By Gail Perry

In a notice posted on the IRS Web site, the IRS points out that the laws authorizing airline ticket tax and other aviation-related taxes have expired as of midnight July 22, 2011.

 
Typically, airline passengers pay a federal tax along with the purchase of a ticket. Usually this tax is added on to the stated fare. Airlines collect the taxes and remit said taxes to the IRS.
 
Until Congress makes some more to reinstate the excise taxes, airlines are no longer required, nor are they allowed, to collect and remit the following federal taxes:
 
  • 7.5 percent tax on the base ticket price.
  • $3.70 per person per trip segment.
  • International travel facilities tax of $16.30 per person for flights that begin or end in the U.S. or $8.20 per person for flights that begin or end in Alaska or Hawaii.
  • 6.25 percent on the amount paid for transporting property by air.
 
For passengers who purchased tickets prior to July 23, 2011 for travel scheduled after July 22, 2011, airlines might be required to refund the tax related to such purchases. Passengers may request these refunds directly from the airlines, or they may submit a claim to the IRS by providing proof of taxes paid and travel dates. A refund form has not yet been released by the IRS.
 
Regarding the tax for air freight, the IRS states that, "The rules for the collection and refund of taxes on air freight are the same as the rules with respect to the ticket taxes. In some cases, however, tax is imposed on the amount paid by an affiliate of the company providing the air freight service (rather than on the customer shipping the package). In those cases, only the shipper or its affiliate can obtain a refund from the IRS. The customer may contact the shipper or its affiliate about its policy of rebating such refunds to customers. "
 
In addition to the tax reductions mentioned above, the tax on aviation fuels used in noncommercial aviation is reduced to 4.4 cents per gallon, however there is no refund available for taxes paid prior to July 23, 2011 on aviation fuels that are used after July 22, 2011.

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