752 still haven’t received stimulus checks

Published 10:23 pm Tuesday, September 30, 2008

There’s just two weeks left for the 752 people in Chilton County who still haven’t received an economic stimulus payment to file a 2007 income tax return.

Statewide, the IRS has identified 86,155 recipients of Social Security and Veterans Affairs benefits who appear to qualify for a stimulus payment but still have not filed for one. They must file a tax return by Oct. 15 to get a payment this year.

Oct. 15 is also the deadline for the approximately 120,000 Alabamians who earlier this year received extensions to file their 2007 income tax return. The IRS E-file and Free File programs are still available to file returns for 2007 but only through Oct. 15.

“Don’t miss out on the economic stimulus payment,” said IRS spokesman Dan Boone. “If you need help filing for a payment or know someone who does, contact the IRS for assistance.”

Taxpayers may visit IRS.gov or call the IRS toll-free at 1-800-829-1040 to get instructions about how to file for a payment or to find the location of the nearest IRS office or stimulus payment help site. The IRS has partnered with numerous organizations that are conducting outreach efforts to older Americans and veterans.

People must file a tax return in order to receive an economic stimulus payment even if they normally are not required to file a return.

For people who have no tax liability and who have no requirement to file a tax return because their income is too low or nontaxable there is a stimulus payment of up to $300 ($600 for married couples) plus the $300 payment for each qualifying child. However, people in this situation must have at least $3,000 in qualifying income from earned income, nontaxable combat pay as well as certain benefits from Social Security, Veterans Affairs and Railroad Retirement.

Qualifying income from Social Security includes retirement, disability and survivor benefits. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is not a qualifying income. Qualifying income from Veterans Affairs includes disability compensation, disability pension and survivor benefits. Qualifying Railroad Retirement Board benefits include the social security equivalent portion of Tier I benefits.

People must have a valid Social Security Number unless their spouse is a member of the military. Also, those who are dependents or eligible to be dependents on another’s tax return are not eligible.

For eligible individuals who normally file tax returns, the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 provided for stimulus payments of up to $600 ($1,200 for married couples) or the amount of the taxpayer’s 2007 net income tax liability, whichever is less. There also is a $300 payment for each qualifying child.

There is an income phase-out, starting at adjusted gross income amounts of $75,000 for single taxpayers and $150,000 for married taxpayers.

By law, the IRS cannot disperse any economic stimulus payments after Dec. 31. However, people who may be eligible for an economic stimulus payment can claim a credit in 2009 by filing a 2008 income tax return.

As of Aug. 29, the IRS has issued $93 billion in economic stimulus payments to 114.8 million individuals and families.

Those who already have filed a 2007 tax return but who have not yet received an economic stimulus payment, can check on the status of your payment by going to “Where’s My Economic Stimulus Payment?” on the IRS.gov Web site.

People also can call 1-866-234-2942 and, after selecting English or Spanish language, should press 2 to check on the status of the stimulus payment. People will need their Social Security Number (the one listed first on the 2007 return), filing status (single, married, etc) and the number of exemptions claimed on the return.