It’s tax time again, but this year is very different for seniors and low-income residents who do not normally file tax returns. I want to remind these individuals that filing a 2007 federal income tax return will qualify them for an economic stimulus check. The stimulus payments will be issued starting in May, but you must file your taxes to receive it. The deadline to file is April 15. Por favor oprima aquí para ver esta columna en Español.
Certain Social Security recipients, railroad retirees, those receiving benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and taxpayers with incomes below a certain level are usually exempt from filing returns. This year, everyone with at least $3,000 of qualifying income will be eligible to receive a rebate check; but if you don’t file you won’t receive one.
Rebate amounts will be up to $600 for individuals and $1,200 for married couples, depending on income. If you have children you may receive another $300 per qualifying child. This program is a great opportunity to get a little of your hard-earned money back in your pocket. Be sure to take advantage of the program by filing your 2007 income tax return.
I would also like to warn residents that scam artists have been calling taxpayers regarding stimulus payments. If someone calls or e-mails you claiming to be from the IRS and asks for your Social Security number, bank account information or credit card number, it is a scam. Be cautious of these people and don’t give them any of your information.
For assistance with filing your tax returns, visit the Internal Revenue Service Web site at IRS.gov or seniors can call the AARP tax helpline at 1-888-AARP-NOW (1-888-227-7669). You can also contact the local IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center by calling 851-4726 or visiting the center located at 1180 Veterans Memorial Highway in Hauppauge from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.