Text Script of Press Briefing February 13, 2008 Economic Stimulus Payments
IRS Acting Commissioner Linda Stiff and Financial Management Service Commissioner Judy Tillman
Stiff: Good afternoon, and welcome. As you all know, Congress recently passed an economic-growth package that would provide stimulus payments to 130 million taxpayers. The President signed that legislation into law earlier today. I'm happy to report that the IRS has been working for weeks now, preparing to process these payments and get them into the hands of the American public. We expect the first checks to begin arriving in the mailboxes in early May, about 11 weeks from now. Checks will continue to be mailed through the spring and summer. As widely reported in the press, payments will range from $300 to $600 for individuals and from $600 to $1,200 for joint filers. Taxpayers will also receive $300 for each qualifying child. To receive the stimulus payments, the majority of American taxpayers don't need to do anything more than file a 2007 tax return. IRS will then do all the rest, including determining eligibility and payment amounts. There is no need to call the IRS or file any other form. This year, perhaps more than ever, it's important for taxpayers to elect a direct-deposit option. This will speed up not only getting their refunds, but it will speed up the receiving of their stimulus payments. Most taxpayers do not need to take any extra steps to receive the payments beginning in early May, but there are a few exceptions, and we want to urge individuals to see if the exceptions apply to them. First, low-income workers who had at least $3,000 in earned income in 2007 but did not otherwise earn enough to be required to file a federal tax return will need to file a return in order to get the stimulus payment. Likewise, Social Security recipients, veterans, and retired railroad workers who might not otherwise need to file a tax return must do so to receive payment. The IRS is working actively with the Social Security Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure that their beneficiaries understand the filing requirement and how to report their benefits on the IRS form 1040 or form 1048. The IRS will also be helping taxpayers at thousands of volunteer tax-preparation sites across the country. We are partnering with groups such as AARP and others to make sure that taxpayers receive the stimulus payments as the administration and Congress intended. And, of course, irs.gov, the award-winning IRS website, is a great source of information. It has the latest news, answers to frequently asked questions, and will soon even have a calculator to help taxpayers confirm the size of their payments. I'd like to turn it over now to my colleague, Judy Tillman.
Tillman: Thank you very much. The Financial Management Service, another bureau of Treasury, is actually the dispersing arm for tax refunds and many other government payments. The Financial Management Service, FMS, will disperse the $130,000 estimated stimulus payments from our four processing centers, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Kansas City, Missouri, Austin, Texas, and San Francisco, California. Delivering payments is a primary mission of FMS, and we will use the same attention to detail and respect for people's money that we apply to the one billion payments we issue every year. Getting stimulus payments out the door will in no way interfere with, delay, or otherwise affect FMS processing of SSA payments, Supplemental Security Income, V.A., railroad retirement, regular income-tax refunds, or any other type of payment that we make. We have done this twice before without any disruption to our regular payments, and we will do so again.
Audio File: 2008 Economic Stimulus Payments - IRS Acting Commissioner Linda Stiff and Financial Management Service Commissioner Judy Tillman, 02/13/08, 4:30 minutes long. The audio file will open in Windows Player, and you will be able to pause, fast forward, rewind, mute, and control the volume from the interactive player.
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