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NEWS | Oct. 9, 2008

October 15 deadline approaches for Retirees and Disabled Veterans

By James C. Dupree IRS Field Media Relations

Editor's note: Capt. Heidi L. White, assistant staff judge advocate, wants to inform our servicemembers who have returned from the combat zone and have not yet filed because they have an extension of time to file. They need to file their 2007 Federal Tax Return by Oct. 15 to ensure they receive their Economic Stimulus Payment, especially if all their income has been tax exempt due to service in the combat zone.

Only days remain until the Oct. 15 deadline for retirees and disabled veterans to file an income tax return that will allow them to receive an economic stimulus payment this year. 

The Internal Revenue Service also reminds retirees and disabled veterans that the money received from the economic stimulus payment will generally have no impact on eligibility for Medicare, Medicaid or other benefits. In addition, the payment generally will not be counted as income or require the recipients to file future income tax returns.
"This really is the last chance for people to still get their stimulus payments this year. Don't let the economic stimulus payment pass you by," said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman.

The Internal Revenue Service's latest estimate indicates as many as 4.3 million recipients of certain Social Security and Veterans Affairs benefits who may be eligible for the economic stimulus payment but who have not yet claimed their stimulus payments. 

People must file an income tax return in order to receive an economic stimulus payment. 

For people who have no tax liability and who have no requirement to file a tax return because their income is too low or nontaxable there is a stimulus payment of up to $300, $600 for married couples plus the $300 payment for each qualifying child. However, people in this situation must have at least $3,000 in qualifying income from any combination of earned income, nontaxable combat, and certain Social Security, Veterans Affairs and Railroad Retirement benefits.

Qualifying income from Social Security includes retirement, disability and survivor benefits. Supplemental Security Income is not a qualifying income. Qualifying income from Veterans Affairs includes disability compensation, disability pension and survivor benefits. Qualifying Railroad Retirement Board benefits include the social security equivalent portion of Tier I benefits.

Also, those who are dependents or eligible to be dependents on another's tax return are not eligible. People must have a valid Social Security Number unless their spouse is a member of the military.