Ask Amy: How to get money back from wrong electric bill tax charges

There are so many fees, taxes, and other charges on your electric bill most people just look at the total and pay it. But you could be paying a tax you don’t actually owe and if you’ve been paying it for months or years you are entitled to a refund.

What to check on your electric bill

Go check your electric bills. Look for a “miscellaneous gross receipts” tax or it might just say “GRT” for short.

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You only owe it if you live inside the city limits of any city. If you live in an unincorporated area of the county, you should not be paying this tax.

Viewer Deana who lives in Brazoria County emailed because she called Green Mountain Energy to ask for a refund and she says they gave her the run around for more than a month. This is pretty typical with electric companies. The customer service representatives probably won’t know what you’re talking about, but you have to be persistent.

How to get a refund for incorrect electricity tax rate

If your electric provider is not cooperating, you can contact the Public Utility commission’s consumer protection division. That is what Deana did. The PUC helped get her issue to someone higher up at Green Mountain Energy and Deana said the company credited her account.

The miscellaneous gross receipts tax is only about 2% of your electric bill. But it can add up. In Deana’s case, her credit was about $350.

Click here to reach the PUC’s customer protection division. The Texas Comptroller also has more information on tax refunds.

RELATED: Are you overpaying for your utility bill?

IRS makes changes to help with backlogs, current tax season

If you owe money to the IRS, they will send notices, add late fees and track you down until you pay up. But if they owe you the money, you may still be waiting for it. In some cases, you could be waiting for years.

KPRC 2 Investigates tax delay issues. What the IRS is doing to help people who have been waiting for tax returns from previous years. (Copyright 2023 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

We are right in the middle of tax filing season for 2022. Still, millions of returns from previous years are still not processed. The backlog is impacting a lot of people, including one Houston woman who called our KPRC 2 Investigates team for help. The IRS has hired extra employees to help taxpayers answer questions. There has also been a massive software update that allows more uploads and one program that catches common mistakes.

Do you have a tax question?

We are working to get answers to your tax questions. Text “Ask Amy” to 1-866-996-5772 along with your question. You can also email

Ask Amy Episode

(Copyright 2023 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

In this week’s Ask Amy episode, Amy joined Producer Andrea Slaydon to discuss our ‘DRAINED’ Investigation into Houston water bills. You can watch the episode for details and catch up with our episode show notes.

About the Authors:

Passionate consumer advocate, mom of 3, addicted to coffee, hairspray and pastries.

Award-winning TV producer and content creator. My goal as a journalist is to help people. Faith and family motivate me. Running keeps me sane.