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15. IS THE FEDERAL TELEPHONE EXCISE TAX USED TO FUND THE MILITARY?

The revenue from the telephone excise tax81 goes into the general revenues of the Federal Government. It is not specifically earmarked for the military.

This question is based on the fact that this excise tax was increased from 3% to 10% in 1966,82 at the request of the Johnson administration, to help meet the expense of the military effort in Vietnam.

Protesters of the war in Vietnam, and later those opposed to military spending in general, have used this tax as a vehicle for their protest because of the above mentioned historical connection with military funding and because it is a tax levied on most of the population which does not have a withholding system of collection. Refusal to pay the tax may, of course, result in the imposition of civil and/or criminal penalties.


81 IRC § 4251 through 4254.

82 Pub. L. No. 89-368, 80 Stat. 38, 89th Cong., 2nd Sees. (1966).
 
 


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