Seniors eligible for $300 tax rebate checks
Congress passed an economic stimulus package last week (which President Bush signed Feb. 14, 2008) that includes one-time tax rebate checks (stimulus payments) to be mailed to tens of millions of Americans. The stimulus package also includes $300 rebates for 20 million low-income older Americans.
Individuals who might not otherwise be required to file a 2007 tax return will need to file a return this year to receive the stimulus payment. Their 2007 tax return must show at least $3,000 in qualifying income.
Social Security recipients, veterans and retired railroad workers who might not otherwise need to file a tax return must do so to receive the economic stimulus payment.
Steps to receive stimulus payments
- This is an IRS program and specific questions about the stimulus payments should be referred to the IRS, at either its Web site (www.irs.gov/) or 800 number (1.800.829.1040).
- To receive a payment, individuals must file a tax return for 2007. There are approximately 20 million Social Security beneficiaries who would not normally file a tax return for 2007, but who will need to file a tax return for 2007 to receive a stimulus payment.
- All Social Security beneficiaries received an SSA-1099 earlier this year related to their 2007 Social Security payments. Some of the 20 million beneficiaries may have discarded their 1099 form.
Beneficiaries should not contact Social Security for a replacement 1099 form, as they do not need one. The IRS will accept an estimate of Social Security benefits received in 2007 in line 14A of the 1040A tax form. Clients can just multiply their 2007 monthly benefit amount times the number of months they received benefits in 2007. IRS will match this estimate against the 1099 file that we provide them to determine if the person meets the income threshold.
- Receipt of Supplemental Security Income (SSI benefits) does not count in determining eligibility for stimulus payments