One-third of Montana individual tax returns filed through February 16 did not request the telephone excise tax refund, the Internal Revenue Service says. Of the 78,511 Montana returns filed, 26,966 returns did not claim the refund, the IRS said in a recent news release. The IRS expects 447,200 Montana individual tax returns to be filed this year. Anyone who has a telephone with long distance service qualifies for the refund, including home phones, cellular phones and bundled service, the agency said. The government stopped collecting the long-distance excise tax last August after several federal court decisions held that the tax does not apply to long-distance service as it is billed today. Federal officials also authorized a one-time refund of the federal excise tax collected on service billed during the previous 41 months, stretching from the beginning of March 2003 to the end of July 2006. The tax continues to apply to local-only phone service. To make the refund easier to figure, the government established a standard refund amount, based on personal exemptions, ranging from $30 to $60. If taxpayers have phone bills and other records, they can request the actual amount of excise tax paid. Taxpayers need only fill out one line on their return and don’t need to present proof to the IRS. Nationwide, more than 10 million taxpayers did not request the telephone tax refund and nearly half of those returns more than 4.8 million were completed by a tax preparer, according to the IRS. The refund request can be found on line 71 on Form 1040; Line 42 on form 1040A; and Line 9 on Form 1040EZ. Those who are not required to file a tax return may request the refund by filing Form 1040EZ-T.