Jacobs Advises Seniors to File 2007 Tax Return to Qualify for Economic Stimulus Payments

Nassau County Legislator Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury) is reminding senior citizens that they must file a federal tax return in order to qualify for economic stimulus payments from the federal government.

These payments, ranging from $300 to $600 for single filers and $600 to $1,200 for joint filers, are expected to begin going out in May for taxpayers who have a 2007 income of $3,000 or more, and who have filed their 2007 federal income tax returns.

“I strongly encourage Nassau County’s senior citizens to take full advantage of the economic opportunities available to them, especially this payment from the federal government,” Jacobs said.

“Some seniors do not normally file federal returns because their income comes primarily from nontaxable Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits,” said Dr. Sharon Mullon, Commissioner of the Nassau County Department of Senior Citizen Affairs. “This year, it is important for them to file a federal return even if they don’t owe taxes, so that they will be eligible for the economic stimulus payments.”

For purposes of meeting the income requirement, the following benefits need to be reported on Line 20a of Form 1040 of Line 14a of Form 1040A.

  • Social Security benefits reported on the Form 1099-SSA
  • Railroad Retirement benefits reported on the 2007 Form 1099-RRB
  • The sum of veterans’ disability compensation, pension, or survivors benefits received from the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2007

Filers who no longer have their 1099 Forms may be able to estimate their annual income based on the monthly amount of their checks, multiplied by the number of months they received benefits. Check with the IRS for specific information: 1-800-829-1040.

Seniors who have already filed 2007 returns reporting at least $3,000 in qualifying income do not need to do anything further to receive the stimulus payments. Others who have filed returns with less than $3,000 income may want to amend that return, using IRS Form 1040X, to include their Social Security, Railroad Retirement, and/or veterans’ benefits.

Middle and low-income senior citizen taxpayers throughout Nassau County can receive free assistance with their 2007 income tax forms through the AARP//IRS Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program. For information on sites offering this service, call the Nassau County Department of Senior citizen Affairs HELP-LINE at (516) 227-8900.