Stimulus payment going unclaimed

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

NASHVILLE ---- The Internal Revenue Service today announced a new summer campaign to reach those retirees and disabled veterans who qualify for the economic stimulus payment but have not filed to claim it.

New statistics released today for Tennessee indicate about 79 percent in this group are accounted for in the stimulus payments currently being sent, leaving about 123,000 potential recipients remaining.

Nationwide, about 74 percent of this group has filed for a stimulus payment, leaving about 5.2 million potential recipients remaining.

"The IRS is putting the money in the hands of thousands of Tennessee retirees and disabled veterans, but this summer we will go the extra mile to help the remaining ones get their payments," said IRS spokesman Dan Boone.

For all taxpayers, the IRS has issued 76.5 million payments worth $63.8 billion based on 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.

For people who have no tax liability or no tax filing requirement, there is a minimum payment of $300 ($600 for married couples), plus the $300 for each qualifying child. To be eligible for the minimum payment, individuals must have at least $3,000 in qualifying income. Qualifying income includes any combination of earned income, nontaxable combat pay and certain benefit payments from Social Security, Veterans Affairs and Railroad Retirement.

A special stimulus category includes recipients of certain benefits from Social Security and Veterans Affairs who do not normally have a requirement to file a tax return. However, these individuals must file a 2007 federal tax return before Oct. 15 this year to receive their economic stimulus payments.

Later this summer, the agency will send them a special letter that explains stimulus payment eligibility and how to claim it. The letter will include a sample tax form and an actual tax form that people can complete and mail to the IRS. This will be the second special mailing to reach those individuals.

People not otherwise required to file an income tax return should file Form 1040A with basic information to ensure they receive the economic stimulus payment. This information includes name; address; dependents, if any; amount of qualifying income (which must be $3,000 or more); direct deposit information and signatures. Forms 1040A and instructions are available at

Help with filing for a stimulus payment is available at any IRS taxpayer assistance center.