BIRMINGHAM - Even though April 15 has passed, the Internal Revenue Service today reminded more than 500,000 retirees, disabled veterans and others in Alabama who normally do not have to file a tax return that there is still time to submit a 2007 return to receive an economic stimulus payment.
"It's not too late to file for a stimulus payment and it's easy to do," said IRS spokesman Dan Boone. "But you must file a 2007 federal tax return by Oct. 15 to get a stimulus payment this year."
People who have no tax filing requirement but have at least $3,000 in qualifying income should file a simple Form 1040A. Qualifying income includes any combination of earned income, nontaxable combat pay as well as certain payments from Social Security, Veterans Affairs and Railroad Retirement.
Boone also addressed recent questions the IRS has gotten from retirees about the need for extensions or extra filings.
"No extension is needed if you're filing a tax return only to get a stimulus payment and did not file by April 15 ," he said. "And if you have already filed a 2007 federal tax return, you have done all you need to do to qualify for a stimulus payment. The IRS will do the rest."
Boone also reminded filers to watch out for stimulus payment-related scams that may come via e-mail, by phone or even through a scammer coming to your home. "The IRS will not call or visit you or send e-mails about the payments," he said. "Once you file your 2007 federal tax return, the IRS has all the information needed to see if you qualify for a payment."
Boone urged friends and family members to reach out to acquaintances or relatives who may either be unaware of the Economic Stimulus Payment or unable to file the tax return themselves. "We need everyone's help to make sure all eligible people get the economic stimulus payments," he added.
The IRS offers several free options for people who need help filing for the stimulus payments:
1. Visit www.irs.gov for the latest information, including a sample Form 1040A showing how to file for stimulus payments.
2. Visit an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center in Birmingham, Dothan, Florence, Huntsville, Mobile or Montgomery.
3. Call 1-800-906-9887 to see if there is a volunteer-staffed stimulus payment help site close to you.
4. Call the IRS Economic Stimulus Payment toll-free hotline at 1-866-234-2942.
If people want to file their own return electronically, they can still use Free File - Economic Stimulus Payment, also available at www.irs.gov. This program provides free software and free electronic filing of Form 1040A, and it remains open after April 15.