IRS Reminder For Qualifying Retirees and Veterans

The Internal Revenue Service today reminded qualifying retirees and veterans that it is not too late to file for an economic stimulus payment and announced it will send a second set of information packets to 5.2 million people who may be eligible but who have not yet filed for their stimulus payment.

The packages will contain everything needed by a person who normally does not have a filing requirement but who must file this year in order to receive an economic stimulus payment. There will be instructions, an example Form 1040A return showing the few lines that need to be completed, and a blank Form 1040A. The packages will be mailed over a three-week period starting July 21.

“All it takes is a few simple steps, and the payment can be on its way. It’s not too late to file, but the sooner people file, the faster they’ll receive their money,” said Doug Shulman, IRS Commissioner.

The mailing is part of an IRS summer campaign to reach out to those people who have no requirement to file a tax return but who may be eligible for a stimulus payment of up to $300 ($600 for married filing jointly). For those eligible for a payment for themselves, there also is a $300 per child payment for eligible children younger than 17.

 

IRS Reminder For Qualifying Retirees and Veterans

The IRS has accounted for about 75 percent of the approximately 20 million Social Security and Veterans Affairs beneficiaries identified as being potential stimulus recipients. All but 5.2 million of those have either filed a return, filed a joint return or were not eligible for a stimulus payment (for example, they were claimed as a dependent on another’s return).

To reach the remaining recipients, the IRS is working with national partners, members of Congress and state and local officials to ensure that assistance to eligible people is available.

The agency also reminded people that it has more than 400 local Taxpayer Assistance Centers operating normal business hours Monday through Friday. These centers can provide assistance to retirees and veterans trying to receive their payments. A list of addresses and office hours can be found at Contact My Local Office.

The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 provided for payments of up to $600 ($1,200 for married filing jointly) for taxpayers who normally file a tax return and have a tax liability. It provided that stimulus recipients could receive another $300 for each eligible child younger than 17.

The Act also created a special category for people who had certain types of income but may not file a tax return because their income is too low or their income is nontaxable.

People in this category must have at least $3,000 in qualifying income to be eligible for the minimum amount of $300 ($600 married filing jointly). Qualifying income is the total of Social Security,

Veterans Affairs and/or Railroad Retirement benefits plus earned income, including nontaxable combat pay.

People receiving only Supplemental Security Income are not eligible. Eligible people must have a Social Security number (unless their spouse is a member of the military) and be neither a dependent nor eligible to be a dependent on another’s tax return.

Receiving the stimulus payment should have no impact on other federal benefits currently being received. The stimulus payment is not taxable. Absent any other filing requirements, filing a tax return to receive a stimulus payment does not mean that retirees and others will have to start filing tax returns again.

As of July 11, the IRS had issued 112.4 million payments totaling $91.8 billion. Payments are based on 2007 tax returns being filed this year. People must file by Oct. 15 in order to receive a payment in 2008. Those who do not file a tax return to obtain their stimulus payment this year may still receive their stimulus payments by filing a 2008 tax return next spring, but then their stimulus payment would be based on their 2008 qualifying income.

2008 Tax Rebate to be mailed out in May

IRS Will Send Stimulus Payments Automatically Starting in May; Eligible Taxpayers Must File a 2007 Tax Return to Receive Rebate

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today advised taxpayers that in most cases they will not have to do anything extra this year to get the economic stimulus payments (tax rebate) beginning in May.

“If you are eligible for a payment, all you have to do is file a 2007 tax return and the IRS will do the rest,” said Acting IRS Commissioner Linda Stiff.

The IRS will use information on the 2007 tax return filed by the taxpayer to determine eligibility and calculate the amount of the stimulus payments.

The IRS will begin sending taxpayers their payments in early May after the current tax season concludes. Payments to more than 130 million taxpayers will continue over several weeks during the spring and summer. A payment schedule for taxpayers will be announced in the near future.

 

2008 Tax Rebate to be mailed out in May

Stimulus payments will be direct deposited for taxpayers selecting that option when filing their 2007 tax returns. Taxpayers who have already filed with direct deposit won’t need to do anything else to receive the stimulus payment. For taxpayers who haven’t filed their 2007 returns yet, the IRS reminds them that direct deposit is the fastest way to get both regular refunds and stimulus payments.

Most taxpayers just need to file a 2007 tax return as usual. No other action, extra form or call is necessary. This Web site will be the best information source for all updates and taxpayer questions.

In most cases, the payment will equal the amount of tax liability on the tax return, with a maximum amount of $600 for individuals ($1,200 for taxpayers who file a joint return).

The law also allows for payments for select taxpayers who have no tax liability, such as low-income workers or those who receive Social Security benefits or veterans’ disability compensation, pension or survivors’ benefits received from the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2007. These taxpayers will be eligible to receive a payment of $300 ($600 on a joint return) if they had at least $3,000 of qualifying income.

Qualifying income includes Social Security benefits, certain Railroad Retirement benefits, certain veterans’ benefits and earned income, such as income from wages, salaries, tips and self-employment. While these people may not be normally required to file a tax return because they do not meet the filing requirement, the IRS emphasizes they must file a 2007 return in order to receive a payment.

Recipients of Social Security, certain Railroad Retirement and certain veterans’ benefits should report their 2007 benefits on Line 14a of Form 1040A or Line 20a of Form 1040. Taxpayers who already have filed but failed to report these benefits can file an amended return by using Form 1040X. The IRS is working with the Social Security Administration and Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure that recipients are aware of this issue.

“Some people receiving Social Security and veterans’ benefits may not realize they will need to file a tax return to get the stimulus payment,” Stiff said. “To reach these people, the IRS and Treasury will work closely with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Social Security Administration and key beneficiary groups on outreach efforts.”

Eligible taxpayers who qualify for a payment will receive an additional $300 for each child who qualifies for the child tax credit.

Payments to higher income taxpayers will be reduced by 5 percent of the amount of adjusted gross income above $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for those filing jointly.

Taxpayers must have valid Social Security Numbers to qualify for the stimulus payment. If married filing jointly, both taxpayers must have a valid Social Security Number. And, children must have valid Social Security Numbers to be eligible as qualifying children.

Taxpayers who file their tax returns using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number issued by the IRS or any number issued by the IRS are ineligible. Also ineligible are individuals who can be claimed as dependents on someone else’s return, or taxpayers who file Form 1040-NR, 1040-PR or 1040-SS.

To accommodate taxpayers who file tax returns later in the year, the IRS will continue sending payments until December 31, 2008. The IRS also cautions taxpayers that if they file their 2007 tax return and then move their residence that they should file a change of address card with the U.S. Postal Service.

The IRS will mail two informational notices to taxpayers advising them of the stimulus payments. However, taxpayers should be alert for tax rebate scams such as telephone calls or e-mails claiming to be from the IRS and asking for sensitive financial information. The IRS will not call or e-mail taxpayers about these payments nor will it ask for financial information. Scam e-mails and information about scam calls should be forwarded to phishing@irs.gov.