Starting in May, the U.S. Treasury will begin sending economic
stimulus payments to more than 130 million people. Most payments will
go out through the late spring and summer. Payments will continue
through Dec. 31 for returns filed after April 15.
who qualify for the stimulus payment will not have to do anything
other than file their 2007 tax returns to receive their payment this
Rita Byers (right) of the Fort
McCoy VITA Center helps Master Sgt. Matt Colley of the 84th
Training Command (Leader Readiness) with his income tax returns.
(Photo by Rob Schuette)
Stimulus payments will be direct deposited for taxpayers
selecting that option when filing their 2007 tax returns. Taxpayers
who already have filed with direct deposit won't need to do anything
else to receive the payment. For those who haven't filed yet for 2007,
the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reminds them that direct deposit is
the fastest way to get both regular refunds and stimulus payments.
The IRS will use the 2007 federal income tax return to
determine eligibility and calculate the amount of the payment. In most
cases, the payment will be the total tax liability (owed) on the
return with a maximum amount of $600 for individuals ($1,200 for
people who file a joint return) and a minimum of $300 for individuals
($600 for people who file a joint return).
Even people who have little or no tax liability may qualify for
the minimum payment if their tax return has $3,000 or more in
qualifying income. Qualifying income includes:
Earned income such as wages and net
Social Security or certain Railroad
disability compensation, pension or survivors' benefits received
from the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2007.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) does
not count as qualifying income. Stimulus payments can be reduced
to pay off outstanding tax and non-tax liabilities in the same
fashion as regular refunds.
Many people who are low income or only receive the benefits
listed above who do not normally have to file income tax returns must
file a 2007 return in order to notify the IRS of their qualifying
income. The IRS wants these people to turn in a tax return and to
qualify for a stimulus payment. They will not get a tax bill and will
not owe money because of the payment.
Everyone listed on the return must have a valid Social Security
number to qualify for and receive payments.
Parents and anyone else eligible for a stimulus payment also
will receive an additional $300 for each qualifying child (subject to
income phase outs). To qualify, a child must be eligible under the
rules for the Child Tax Credit.
The three VA medical centers in Wisconsin are offering free tax
assistance to qualifying veterans and their families through the
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Income limits may
For assistance in the Tomah area through
the Tomah VA Medical Center, call (608) 372-1242.
For assistance in the Madison area through
the Middleton VA Medical Center in Madison, call (608) 280-7030.
For assistance in the Milwaukee area
through the CJ Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, call (414)
384-2000, Ext. 42340.
For assistance in the Fort McCoy community through the Fort
McCoy VITA Center, eligible military personnel (including active-duty,
retirees and family members) can call (608) 388-2165 to schedule an
appointment or (608) 388-4117 for general questions.
Personnel can locate the nearest VITA site by calling (800)
906-9887. The Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program by AARP Tax-Aide
provides free tax help, which focuses on people age 60 and older.
You can locate the nearest AARP Tax-Aide site by calling (888)
227-7669 or by visiting the AARP Web site at http://www.aarp.org.
For more information on the stimulus payments, visit the IRS
Web site at http://www.irs.gov.
(Submitted by Internal Revenue Service,