Thursday, March 13, 2008

Seniors - File a Tax Return with "Stimulus Payment" at the Top to get your Rebate

Category: Tax Law and Planning tells Seniors about the Tax Rebate: "Get this straight: If you can pick up an easy $300 or more by summer, it's worth the trouble."

As the Article illuminates, the problem with the tax rebate ($300 for singles, and $600 for couples) is that to get the tax rebate you need to file a return. Many seniors haven't filed a return in years and have no idea how to go about it. Well, here's the answer:

From "Rebates could return some seniors back to filing taxes - Simplified steps in place to allow taxpayers on limited income to qualify for check"

If you normally file a tax return, file the return as usual. Otherwise, follow these steps.

• First, get a 1040A or 1040 form from a post office, local library, or by calling the IRS at (800) 829-3676. If you're filling out a form by hand, get the 1040A. If you're using software, it might be easier to use a 1040.

• If you normally do not have to file a tax return, write "stimulus payment" on the top of the form.

• Fill out your name, address and Social Security numbers for you and your spouse at the top of the form.

• Fill out the tax filing status.

• Fill out exemptions for yourself, spouse and dependents. Be sure to list all qualifying children on line 6c to get any possible rebate money for them.

• Go to Line 14a of Form 1040A or Line 20a of Form 1040. Here's where you list Social Security benefits. See Form 1099-SSA, which the Social Security Administration sent out earlier this year to report 2007 benefits.

If you do not have a Form 1099-SSA, you may estimate your annual Social Security benefits. Take your monthly benefit and multiply it by the number of months that you received it in 2007.

If you normally do not have to file a return and do not owe taxes, you're going to fill out the entire amount of Social Security benefits, plus other benefits like some veterans' and Railroad Retirement benefits.

Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, cannot be used to count as qualifying income in order to get this economic stimulus rebate.
• If this applies to you, see Form 1099-RRB for Railroad Retirement benefits to report those benefits on Line 14a of Form 1040A or Line 20a of Form 1040.
• Or, if this applies to you, you're going to need the sum of veterans' disability compensation, pension or survivors' benefits received from the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2007. You can estimate the annual benefit by taking the monthly amount you receive and multiplying it by the number of months in 2007 that you received the benefits.

• Sign the return, date it, fill in your occupation and give a daytime phone number. If you're filing a joint return, your spouse must sign the return as well.

• Keep a copy of the return.

• Mail the return to Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service Center,
at the address for your state.

Find that at the IRS Web site, click on Individuals in the tabs across the top of the page, then click on Where to File under IRS Resources in the left rail. Then click on the link that says "Individual Taxpayers -- Where to File Your Own Individual Return" and a map of the states will pop up. Click on your state.

Use the address for your type of form and the one where you won't be sending in any money.

• Know that the first rebate checks won't go out until May.


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