PARSIPPANY, N.J., April 8, 2008 // PRNewswire-FirstCall // -- The U.S. Government is offering senior citizens a chance to receive extra money this year through the Economic Stimulus Plan, but there is one easy step that they must take in order to qualify - file a 2007 income tax return. For seniors and other communities who traditionally do not have to file an annual return, doing so this year before the April 15 deadline will ensure that they receive a rebate payment this May. Preparers with Jackson Hewitt Tax Service(R) are working with these groups to remind them that the tax filing deadline is quickly drawing to a close and there is no time to waste in making sure a return is submitted.
"We know seniors, as well as low wage workers and select veterans, would not normally be thinking about taxes this time of year, but filing this year will put them in the queue for the rebate payment," explains Mark Steber, vice president of Tax Resources, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service. "The steps are simple: all it takes to receive a rebate payment is to file a 2007 tax return with a valid Social Security number that notes at least $3,000 of Social Security income - that's all that is required. We have also created a special online resource, the 2008 Economic Stimulus Payment FAQs for Seniors, available on our Web site at http://www.jacksonhewitt.com."
According to the IRS, there are nearly 20 million people who do not normally file an annual tax return; this population includes low-income workers, Social Security beneficiaries, certain railroad retirees and those who receive certain benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Because the information recorded on the 2007 tax return will be used for the rebate checks, it is important for members of these groups to file this year to receive payment, which is $300 for single filers or $600 for those who file a joint return. Benefits from Social Security or other sources must be reported on Form 1040, line 20A or Form 1040A, Line 14A. The IRS will not recognize the qualifying income if it is not reported on the appropriate line.
The IRS has stated that rebate payments will begin to be mailed out starting in May 2008 and will continue throughout the spring and summer. Payments will be processed based on the method in which a 2007 tax return was filed and in numerical order, according to the last two digits of each person's Social Security number as noted on a 2007 tax return (joint returns will correspond to the first Social Security number listed). Those eligible for tax refunds who requested direct deposit will receive rebates in this manner, starting on May 2, with paper checks starting to mail out on May 16 and continuing through mid-July.
Those who file after the tax filing deadline of April 15, 2008 or who request an extension should expect a delay in receiving their rebate payments. The IRS has stated that for those who request a valid six-month extension to file or who are filing to establish eligibility for the stimulus payment, filing by October 15 means that a return will be processed and a stimulus payment will be issued before the end of the year. In addition, it is important to note that no rebate payments will be made after December 31, 2008. After this time, those eligible for the rebate will need to claim a refundable credit for the payment on their 2008 tax returns, if they qualify. The stimulus payment will not reduce the amount of a refund or increase the amount owed when filing a 2008 tax return.
For other requirements regarding rebates, visit http://www.jacksonhewitt.com and click on the section on Government Rebate Checks, including an FAQ section for seniors. Additional information can also be found by visiting a local Jackson Hewitt office or on the IRS Web site at http://www.irs.gov. To locate the nearest Jackson Hewitt office, log on to http://www.jacksonhewitt.com and click on the Office Locator feature, or call 1-800-234-1040.
Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. (NYSE: JTX), with approximately 6,800 franchised and company-owned offices throughout the United States during the 2008 tax season, is an industry leader providing full service individual federal and state income tax preparation. Most offices are independently owned and operated. The Company is based in Parsippany, New Jersey. More information may be obtained at http://www.jacksonhewitt.com. To locate the Jackson Hewitt Tax Service office nearest to you, call 1-800-234-1040.
SOURCE Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.