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File a Tax Return: Get $300

Many people, especially retirees, may not realize that they may be entitled to a rebate from the IRS. Most of you can benefit from the Economic Stimulus Law that was enacted on February 13, 2008. However, you must file an income tax return. Seniors, disabled veterans, and veterans’ widows will receive $300 payments if they earned at least $3,000 in social security, or veterans’ benefits in 2007. In addition, workers that earned at least $3,000, but not enough to pay income taxes, will be eligible for a payment of $300. For higher income individuals, the law provides rebate checks of up to $600, per individual. A couple can get up to $1,200. The stimulus payment begins to phase out for individuals with adjusted gross incomes of over $75,000 and for married couples whose income exceeds $150,000.

You should let your clients know that they need to file an income tax return, even if they do not have any tax liability. They need to report any social security income on the tax return. This does not mean that they will be taxed on their social security income, but they must report it in order to get the rebate.

Even a person that died in 2007 or 2008 may be entitled to a rebate; but, to get such a rebate, someone must file a tax return on that deceased person’s behalf.

If your clients file the tax return on time, they should receive the rebate check by May or June of 2008.

For more information on the stimulus payments and what income tax forms to file, go to www.IRS.gov or call 1.800.829.1040. Also, your local area agencies will be providing information to assist people on how to fill out the forms, and where to find the forms. Reminder: The deadline to file taxes is April 15th.

Reminder: The deadline to file taxes is April 15th.

Tax Rebate Scam: A Warning

The previous article talks about the rebate that will benefit so many in our country. However, seniors need to watch out for scam-artists trying to steal their money as they wait. Apparently, in Massachusetts, there has been some experiences with both telephone and internet scams trying to trick people into providing information. In the scam, they engage the elder in a conversation, either on the phone or online, and ask for their personal information, such as bank accounts or social security numbers. In some instances, the person with whom they are talking claims to be an IRS agent or a bank and tells the senior that if they provide such confidential information, they will receive their rebate sooner. Anyone who gets such a message should hang up or terminate the online exchange. The IRS is not going to contact you personally and ask you for such information.

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