IRS TAX TIP 2008-Special Edition
Are you wondering what to do to ensure that you receive your economic stimulus payment which the IRS will begin to send out this May? In most cases you will not have to do anything extra. 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.
However, recipients of Social Security, certain Veterans' and Railroad Retirement benefits and low-income workers who don’t normally need to file may have to take steps to insure receipt of the stimulus payment.
If you are in this group and normally would not be required to file a tax return, you need to file a 2007 tax return this year to receive an economic stimulus payment. The return must show at least $3000 in 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.
The IRS has released a sample version of a Form 1040A that highlights the simple, specific sections of the return that can be filled out by people in these categories to qualify for a stimulus payment. Additionally, individuals who normally do not file a tax return but must do so this year in order to receive their 2008 economic stimulus payment can use the IRS Free File program to help them file returns for 2007.
For more information see IRS Fact Sheet FS 2008-16 Stimulus Payments: Instructions for Low-Income Workers and Recipients of Social Security and Certain Veterans’ Benefits available on www.irs.gov.
Be aware that identity thieves are already pushing scams involving the stimulus payments. At least one telephone scam is making the rounds using the proposed rebates as bait. IRS news release IR-2008-11,”IRS Warns of New E-Mail and Telephone Scams Using the IRS Name; Advance Payment Scams Starting,” has more details.
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