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PUBLISHED: 4:11 PM on Wednesday, June 25, 2008
IRS launches outreach to retirees, disabled veterans who haven't filed for economic stimulus payments
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Internal Revenue Service has announced a new summer campaign to reach those retirees and disabled veterans who qualify for the economic stimulus payment but have not yet filed to claim it. New statistics released indicate about 74 percent in this group are accounted for in the stimulus payments currently being sent, leaving about 5.2 million potential recipients remaining. More than 10,000 potential recipients live in Alaska.

The IRS has issued 76.5 million payments worth $63.8 billion based on all 2007 tax returns processed so far. The agency expects to issue 124 million payments to Americans by year's end. Eligible individuals are receiving up to $600 ($1,200 for married couples filing joint returns) plus $300 for eligible children younger than 17.

"The IRS has quickly delivered the stimulus payment program. We're now going the extra mile to help the remaining retirees and disabled veterans get their payment," said IRS spokesman Jesse Weller. "Some seniors and veterans who normally do not file a tax return may be eligible and not know it, or mistakenly think it is too late to get their money."

Many recipients of certain benefits from Social Security and Veterans Affairs who are not normally required to file a tax return may be eligible for a minimum stimulus payment. However, these individuals must file a tax return before October 15 this year to receive their money.

Persons who have no tax liability or no tax filing requirement may be entitled to a minimum payment of $300 ($600 for married couples), plus the $300 for each qualifying child. Filers must have at least $3,000 in qualifying income to be eligible for the minimum payment. Qualifying income includes any combination of earned income, nontaxable combat pay and certain benefit payments from Social Security, Veteran's Affairs and Railroad Retirement.

All but 5.2 million out of about 20 million initially identified as being potential stimulus recipients have been accounted for as either having already filed a return, or ineligible for a payment. The IRS will send them a special letter later this summer that explains stimulus payment eligibility and how to claim it. The letter will include a filled-in sample form, and an actual tax form that people can complete and mail to the IRS.

The IRS also is working with members of Congress, state and local officials and national and local partners such as AARP, the National Council on Aging, United Way of America, National Disability Institute and others to continue its extensive outreach efforts to the retiree and veterans' communities through the summer. The IRS will take the lead in coordinating face-to-face free tax preparation sessions with the help of local community partners at locations where these individuals live, work and socialize such as senior housing, VA hospitals and assisted living facilities.

The agency also reminded people that it has more than 400 local Taxpayer Assistance Centers operating normal business hours Monday through Friday. These centers can provide assistance to retirees and veterans to receive their payments. A list for addresses and office hours can be found at "Contact My Local IRS Office" at www.irs.gov.

People not otherwise required to file an income tax return should file Form 1040A with basic information to receive the economic stimulus payment. This information includes name, address, dependents - if any, amount of qualifying income, direct deposit information and signatures. Forms 1040A and instructions are available at www.irs.gov. Although payments can be made by check, the IRS urges use of direct deposit to ensure speedy delivery.


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