Oct. 15 is Deadline To File for Stimulus Payments

By Lori Woehrle / Posted on 16 September 2008

The deadline is approaching for seniors and others to file a 2007 tax return to receive their federal stimulus payment this year.

Some recipients of Social Security, certain veterans’ benefits and certain Railroad Retirement benefits may qualify for economic stimulus payments, even though they usually do not have to file a tax return.

To receive the payment,which for individuals typically ranges from $300-$600,people who might not otherwise be required to file a 2007 tax return will need to file. The return must show at least $3,000 in qualifying income.

Normally, certain Social Security, Railroad Retirement benefits and certain veterans’ payments are not subject to income tax. However, the economic stimulus law passed in February contains a special provision allowing Social Security recipients and recipients of certain veterans’ benefits and certain Railroad Retirement benefits to count those benefits toward the qualifying income requirement of $3,000 and thereby qualify for the stimulus payment.

Free tax help available

The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Program provides free tax help to people age 60 and older. As part of the IRS-sponsored TCE Program, AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program at more than 7,000 sites nationwide during the filing season. To find an AARP Tax Aide site call 1-888-227-7669 or visit the AARP Web site.

The Internal Revenue Service estimated in late July that some 5.2 million Americans eligible for an economic stimulus check authorized by Congress have yet to file. Some estimates show nearly 70 percent of those who are eligible but have not filed are seniors.

- Lori Woehrle


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