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Bronx retirees, veterans eligible for stimulus $$

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The Internal Revenue Service has put out a reminder to qualifying retirees and veterans that it is not too late to file for an economic stimulus payment and announced it will send a second set of information packets to 5.2 million people, including many in the Bronx, who may be eligible but who have not yet filed for their payment.

The packages will contain everything needed by a person who normally does not have a filing requirement but who must file this year in order to receive an economic stimulus payment.

Included will be instructions, an example Form 1040A return showing the few lines that need to be completed, and a blank Form 1040A. The packages will be mailed over a three-week period starting July 21.

“All it takes is a few simple steps, and the payment can be on its way,” said Doug Shulman, IRS commissioner.  “It’s not too late to file, but the sooner people file, the faster they’ll receive their money.”

The mailing is part of an IRS summer campaign to reach out to those people who have no requirement to file a tax return but who may be eligible for a stimulus payment of up to $300 ($600 for married filing jointly).

For those eligible for a payment for themselves, there also is a $300 per child payment for eligible children younger than 17.

The IRS has accounted for about 75% of the approximately 20 million Social Security and Veterans Affairs beneficiaries identified as being potential stimulus recipients.

All but 5.2 million of those have either filed a return, filed a joint return or were not eligible for a stimulus payment (for example, they were claimed as a dependent on another’s return).

To reach the remaining recipients, the IRS is working with national partners, members of Congress and state and local officials to ensure that assistance to eligible people is available.

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 trying to receive their payments. A list of addresses and office hours can be found at www.irs.gov/localcontacts/index.html.

People receiving only Supplemental Security Income are not eligible. Eligible people must have a Social Security Number (unless their spouse is a member of the military) and be neither a dependent nor eligible to be a dependent on another’s tax return.

As of July 11, the IRS had issued 112.4 million payments totaling $91.8 billion. Payments are based on 2007 tax returns being filed this year. People must file by October 15 in order to receive a payment in 2008.

Those who do not file a tax return to obtain their stimulus payment this year may still receive their stimulus payments by filing a 2008 tax return next spring, but then their stimulus payment would be based on their 2008 qualifying income.

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