I found something out yesterday that I didn’t know, so I thought there might be others that don’t know, either.
My mother is retired and lives on Social Security. She has no other income, so we don’t file tax returns for her.
When I heard about President Bush’s Economic Stimulus package I was thrilled that we’ll be getting some hard-earned cash back. It never occurred to me that my mother, who hasn’t earned any income in over ten years, would also be able to collect. I’d never actually read the requirements, which are:
Individuals and families must have at least $3,000 of income from any combination of earned income, Social Security retirement or disability benefits, certain Railroad retirement benefits, or disability compensation, disability pension, or survivor benefits paid by the Veterans Affairs. The minimum economic stimulus payment is $300 for individuals and $600 for married couples.
So, Wahoo! Mom can participate. The only catch for her is that she has to file a tax return. And the IRS is making it easier for her and people like her. People who have no legal requirement to file a tax return but must file a return this year in order to receive a 2008 economic stimulus payment can participate in the Free File program and file their taxes online.
There is no charge for using IRS Free File. With just a few answers, people can complete a simple form and use IRS e-file. The IRS also urges all filers to use direct deposit, if they have a checking or savings account, because it is the fastest way to receive an economic stimulus payment. Some people feel funny about that, but really they can have access to your account any time they want, so you may as well get the money sooner, n’est pas?
Once people file a tax return, they don’t need to do anything more. The IRS will do the rest. They will begin issuing payments starting in May.
For my Mom this extra money will be like winning the lottery. I hope she’ll use it to pay for an airline ticket to come visit us, which would be lovely.
So, please go ask your parents or grandparents if they qualify. You may just have found them $300…