IRS filing deadline looms for stimulus payments
The Internal Revenue Service said today that an estimated 117,000 Massachusetts residents still have not filed a tax return that would enable them to receive an economic stimulus payment that could be worth $300 or more.
People must file a tax return by Oct. 15 in order to receive an economic stimulus payment - even if they normally are not required to file a return, noted the IRS, which added that many of the Massachusetts residents who have yet to file are likely low-income retirees and disabled veterans.
In many cases, people who fall into those two categories aren't normally required to file a tax return as a Page One story in the Globe pointed out last month.
The economic stimulus payments, sometimes referred to as rebates, are part of $168 billion economic stimulus package signed into law in February by President Bush. As part of congressional negotiations, money was included for those whose incomes are so low that they do not have to submit federal tax returns, the Globe story last month said. That story added that low-income residents who earned at least $3,000 last year likely qualified for individual payments of $300; those who file jointly can receive $600.
In mid August, the IRS estimated that more than 150,000 Massachusetts residents had yet to file the paperwork needed to receive a stimulus check.
The IRS noted in a statement issued today: "The IRS has yet to hear from an estimated 117,000 Massachusetts taxpayers who receive certain Social Security benefits or certain Veterans Affairs benefits. The agency has twice sent letters to this group that included a Form 1040A, a sample form, and instructions on sending the return to the IRS."
A statement from IRS spokeswoman Peggy Riley was included in today's press release.
“Don’t let the economic stimulus payment pass you by,” Riley said in the statement. “If you want the payment this year, you should file by October 15. We recognize that there may be older Americans and disabled veterans who still have not filed for their stimulus payment. If you know of a friend, neighbor, or family members who may be in that situation, please give them a hand if they need it.”
The IRS added that there are more than 400 local offices nationwide where people can get assistance in preparing their tax forms.
(By Chris Reidy, Globe staff)