IRS Reminds You To File Your Tax Return In Order To Receive Stimulus Payment

The IRS will begin sending letters to remind eligible tax payers that they will not have to do anything other than file a 2007 tax return in order to receive a stimulus package payment.

“These special letters remind people that they won’t need to do anything more than file a 2007 tax return in order to put the stimulus payment process in motion,” Acting IRS Commissioner Linda Stiff said.

“To receive a payment in 2008, individuals who qualify will not have to do anything more than file a 2007 tax return. The IRS will determine eligibility, figure the amount and send the payment,” the notice states. “This payment should not be confused with any 2007 income tax refund that is owed to you by the federal government. Income tax refunds for 2007 will be made separately from this one-time payment.”

Watch out for scammers telling a different story.

Special Economic Stimulus Letters Reach Mailboxes in March [IRS]

Comments

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  1. friendlynerd says:

    Nothing like spending millions in postage to remind citizens to do what they are already legally obligated to do.

  2. Buran says:

    I already filed, did it early, got my refund. I don’t care about when I’m getting a reminder for something I’ve already done; when do I get the actual result (i.e. the extra refund)?

  3. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    Ditto. WTF are we wasting paper for this again?

  4. B says:

    @Buran: Mid June. If you direct deposited, the stimulus will be deposited to the same account, otherwise you will get a paper check in the mail.

  5. DevPts says:

    The catch being that the letter only goes to folks that filed 2006 returns (those whose gross adjusted income is greater than 3000$). This makes an even bigger waste of money as many folks eligible to receive the dispusment will not get the friendly reminder to file regardless of gross adjusted income level.

    Most folks receiving the letter file regular returns anyway.

  6. RIP MRHANDS says:

    @friendlynerd: Remember that time they changed all the 1040 forms from black and white print to full color, spending millions more per year in the process? LMAO.

  7. savvy999 says:

    On April 15th, I’ll file, pay like $1200. Some point later, I’ll get a ‘stimulus payment’ of $1200.

    I will be paying Peter to rob Paul’s grandkids. Sweet.

  8. johnva says:

    @friendlynerd: As the article says, some people who are eligible for the tax rebate are not required to file returns. But to get it, they have to. That’s part of the reason they reminding people.

  9. balthisar says:

    @friendlynerd: Similarly to what johnva said, you’re only required to file a return if you owe taxes. I have a refund due, so I don’t have to file a tax return, well, unless I want my refund.

  10. TheSeeker says:

    As others have said…what a waste of money to send reminders to everyone.

    Aren’t there more cost affective ways:

    1. For the eldery…have Paul Harvey tell his listeners – no cost there.

    2. For the young idiots…have My Space send them all an email – again no cost.

    3. For the idiots who watch MTV place a public service announcement

    Gmail, Hot mail, Yahoo all could send a administrative announcement for free.

    Right Wing radio can announce it for free.
    For the lefties, there’s CBS, NBC, ABC news, Larry King, etc..all could have a public service announcement.

    All at no cost.

    I could go on but this is already boring me.

    Oh, how about an announce during those non-debate presidential debates.

    Or have old dummy give a press conference and tell us.

  11. ptkdude says:

    I’ve already filed and received my refund of $3. Anyone interested in wagering on me getting the letter reminding me to file so I get the “rebate”?

  12. kamel5547 says:

    @balthisar:

    That is incorrect. You are required to file a return even if a refund is owed to you if you meet the criterea set out by the IRS (over the income threshold).

    The income levels are outlined here:
    [www.smartmoney.com]
    There are other income rules that apply (interest, dividends have much lower limits).

    Failure to file even if you were owed a refund results in penalties which will quickly have you owing the governement money. Just an FYI as it is unlikely you are not legally required to file.

    I strongly suggest you review the criterea… I’ve known people who went from not filing with money owed to them to owing the IRS money for failure to file.

  13. ClayS says:

    If they didn’t send reminders they would be accused of discrimination of some kind.

  14. mtaylor924 says:

    @kamel5547: That article is a bit misleading. If you are above those income thresholds, you most likely owe federal taxes on the income. However, after calculating your tax liability, if you discover that you are owed a refund, filing is not mandatory.

    The IRS recommends filing to get a refund of excess payroll taxes you may have paid. Plus filing is the only way to “start the clock” against the 3 year audit window for the IRS. If you don’t file, they have as long as they want to audit you. Once you file, the 3-year clock begins, after which they cannot audit that specific tax return.

  15. friendlynerd says:

    @ClayS:

    Call it a stupid tax

  16. pheel31 says:

    I am a programmer who happens to work for a tax software company for the past 17 years. I am not an accountant but I know enough about taxes to give this opinion. If you are someone that hasn’t filed taxes recently and you decide to do it this year so that you can get the rebate, be careful, because the IRS may get you for not filing in past years. You may get the rebate this year but they will get you for the years that you didn’t file and were supposed to and deduct this year’s rebate plus any interest you owe them. (You could also end up in jail for tax fraud) Don’t forget that there is more than 1 reason for this rebate and the IRS is not someone to mess around with.

  17. forgottenpassword says:

    I hve filed, but havent paid yet (I plan on sending payment april 1st)…. will i still be gettin my mUnNyyyyyyyyy!?

  18. spinachdip says:

    @ClayS: That’s a nice strawman you got there.

    Why is IRS doing this? Because the people who stand to benefit the most from the stimulus are the people who fall below the income threshold for filing returns, and the whole idea behind the stimulus package, whether you agree with it or not, to get the people to start buying shit again, especially people in the bottom rung of the economy who lost disposal income, or never had any to begin with.

    So it doesn’t help the Treasury any to have these stimulus moneys sitting around in the basement.

    Why is this so hard to understand?

  19. ClayS says:

    @spinachdip:
    I don’t disagree at all.

  20. spinachdip says:

    @ClayS: Just to clarify, most of the comment wasn’t directed at you, but people asking why the reminders are going out.

  21. ClayS says:

    @spinachdip:
    No problem. The more money that can be rebated into the hands of consumers, the better for the economy as a whole.

  22. Since85 says:

    Can someone explain the stimulus package to me? Does this mean I’ll have to pay back the $600 or so next year, or is it a credit? Where does the money come from? If someone could answer or post a link to an explaination, it would be much appreciated.

  23. GearheadGeek says:

    @kamel5547: There are a couple of groups who are exempt from filing but qualify for the stimulus bread-and-circuses boondoggle… I think it’s people who get ALL of their income from social security and people who receive SS and a particular kind of railroad pension.

  24. Orv says:

    @Since85: This should answer most of your questions:
    [marketplace.publicradio.org]

    As for where the money comes from, it comes out of the federal budget…which ultimately means it’s being borrowed from people who buy treasury bonds.

  25. Orv says:

    Hmm, tried this once and it didn’t post, so I’m trying it again.

    @Since85: This should answer most of your questions:
    [marketplace.publicradio.org]
    As for where the money comes from, it comes out of the federal budget. So, given that the government is running a deficit, it essentially is borrowed from people who buy treasury bonds.

  26. timmus says:

    My mind must be in the gutter… hearing all this talk about “stimulus payment” makes me think that the government is giving vouchers for the local adult shop.

  27. nonsequiturmine says:

    I think everyone here is missing the point of this announcement. The IRS is not reminding people to file, they are reminding people that nothing else is required of them. This is a scam prevention measure.

  28. @nonsequiturmine:
    Thats a good point… People may think they were beign scammed if they didn’t know about this.

    I got mine, it’s in the recycling bin. Could this be a waste of time and money? I wonder how much more they could have given if they didn’t waste so much on sending these things out.

    It seems like they could have just included such a notice with the actual checks.. A link to the IRS website to confirm the payment would be fine.