Here are the steps that worked for me for the first time since last spring when they started adding late fees if you didn’t pay the tax up front.
- I pay the full bill on time, with a letter stating not only the month but also the day of the bill, my phone number, address, reason for refusing, and amount of tax I’m refusing to pay. They forward this to the Feds.
- I send a copy of the letter to the Century Link Correspondence Group, P.O. Box 2560, Omaha, Nebraska 68103, Attention: Denise.
- The next month the bill shows an adjustment, subtracting the Federal tax for the previous month.
I hope this continues to work, and I hope this will help someone else who is dealing with CenturyLink.
—R.Y. Washington state
October 24, 2013
After I’d called the management man in Denver and sent NWTRCC that message [below] and had about given up, I got a call from a woman in their Omaha communications office. She said if I paid the bill (so as not to get another $6 late fee) and then sent a letter [address below] for each bill with the bill’s date, my phone number, address, reason for refusing, and amount of tax I’m refusing to pay, they could forward it to the Feds. I told her several times that I’d done that every month for 47 years and it was only since last June that the unpaid tax and late fees had piled up. Finally she was able to say clearly that I had to give not only the month but also the day of the bill, and that while I could put several months on one sheet, each bill had to have its own message with all that information. So I sent her an envelope with five messages for five months on separate small sheets, and am waiting to see if the next bill shows some refunds. Then I’ll write you the end of the story!
—R.Y. Washington state
October 10, 2013
I called the number you provided at Century Link’s Denver headquarters (303-664-7029)! I spoke with Matthew Lin, who said there was no way they could stop charging a $6 late fee each time we paid everything on time except for the war tax. Any payment less gets charged the late fee even if it’s paid immediately upon receiving the bill. I expressed my displeasure, since we haven’t paid that tax for 47 years, and always eventually had it removed from subsequent bills, and never had a late fee. But last spring they evidently changed their policy. I am sad to say I’m giving up since we don’t know how else we can get long distance coverage. —R.Y., Washington state
Most questions in the past year have come from people who have Century Link as their carrier. The company has charged telephone excise tax resisters a late fee when the refused tax amount begins to add up.
One resister spoke with a Century Link employee in the company’s Executive Offices and was able to work out a satisfactory deal with regard to his withheld Federal Excise taxes. He got a refund for most of the “past due” tax amount that was adding up. In addition they set up this process:
“In the future, I need to send a separate statement of tax resistance to the Century Link Client Service Center, P.O. Box 3766, Omaha, Neb. 69103-0766. I have always just sent such a statement along with my bill, but their systems for some reason can’t handle this (possibly due to the merger of CenturyLink and Qwest).”
An old story from Qwest (now Century Link)
On Wed, 23 Jul 2003, Qwest Residential Services wrote:
Dear Y. (in Oregon),
Thank you for your recent e-mail inquiry to Qwest regarding the $.72 charge on your bill and your request to be an authorized party on the account.
Below you will find an excerpt from your May bill telling you what the charges are for:
The following charges are billed at the request of local, state and federal government and/or to support government programs. for additional information visit our website at www.qwest.com
FEDERAL EXCISE AT 3% $0.72
You are responsible for paying that amount, and if it goes unpaid, it will continue to be forwarded as a balance on your account.
Sincerely, Qwest Customer Care, Consumer Markets
October 17, 2003
From Qwest Consumer Sales Support Organization to Customer in Minnesota:
Thank you for writing to us.
We have adjusted the Federal Excise Tax on your requested bill. You have the right to refuse to pay the Federal Excise Tax, but Qwest is obligated to bill the tax. Please remember that you must submit a statement of refusal to pay in writing each month the tax is billed and not paid. Please remember to provide the following information to have the tax adjusted: the billing name on the account, the telephone number, the date of the bill on which the tax is refused, the type of tax refused, the amount of the tax refused, the reason for refusal, and the carrier identification of any taxes refused.
Thank you for choosing Qwest.