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  2008 Press Releases  

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 20, 2008

Seniors urged to file federal tax returns in order to receive their economic stimulus checks
October 15 is the deadline to file taxes or lose funds

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) Director Charles D. Johnson is reminding seniors who have not filed an income tax return for 2007 to file by the October 15 deadline in order to receive an economic stimulus check from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). As the deadline approaches, there are reports that many residents, including seniors, have not submitted their tax returns.

"Even people who are not normally required to file a tax return must file one for last year in order to receive a stimulus check," said Director Johnson. "Some seniors may forget they are entitled to receive a stimulus check because they do not usually file federal taxes. But, they may indeed have money due to them. It’s important to submit a tax return to receive a check."

The stimulus check is available to anyone who had an income of at least $3,000 in 2007. The income can come from a combination of benefits such as Social Security, veterans’ assistance, or earned income. Since benefits such as Social Security and veteran’s assistance is not taxable, people who receive those benefits usually do not need to file annual income tax returns. But, income tax returns (form 1040A) must be filed in order to receive the stimulus check. The IRS has created an amended version of the 1040A form to make it easier for those who do not usually file.

The stimulus checks are part of the federal government's effort to boost the economy. The IRS reportedly began mailing checks and direct deposits in May. People applying with the $3,000 minimum income can receive the $300 stimulus or $600 if they file a joint tax return with their spouse. They may also receive an extra $300 for each qualified child of the applicant under 17 years old.

IDoA Director Johnson also reiterated his previous warning about people trying to scam seniors out of their stimulus checks. "You do not have to respond to a phone call nor email in order to receive your economic stimulus check. “Simply file your tax return and, if eligible, you will receive the check."

For taxpayers who wish to find out if they are due a refund from their last annual tax return filing may use the Where’s My Refund? interactive application at the only official IRS Web site, which is located at www.irs.gov.

For more information about program services to assist older adults in Illinois and their caregivers, contact the Senior HelpLine

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