June 27, 2008
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says that disabled veterans have until Oct. 15 to file claims for economic stimulus payments.
The IRS is launching a campaign this summer to contact those who are eligible, but have failed to files claims. They include people receiving benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs for disability, pension or survivors’ benefits. The agency will send special letters to those eligible with directions on how to make the claim, a sample tax form and a tax form that can be completed and mailed to the IRS. This will be the second special mailing to eligible disabled veterans.
As many as one in four disabled veterans and retirees have not yet filed a claim for economic stimulus payments Congress authorized in February.
Disabled veterans who do not normally file a tax return are eligible for the payments, but they will need to file a tax return before Oct. 15 in order to qualify for the stimulus funds. Once the tax return has been filed, the IRS will calculate eligibility and the payment amount. Even though some disabled veterans do not normally file a tax return because their benefits are not taxable, must file a return in order to receive the payments.
The stimulus payments of up to $600 ($1,200 for married couples filing joint returns) have no effect on federal benefits received and are not taxable. In addition, filing a tax return to receive a stimulus payment does not mean that disabled veterans will have to start filing tax returns again.
The IRS will offer face-to-face tax preparation sessions with the help of community groups and at senior housing, VA medical centers and assisted living facilities. There are also 400 local Taxpayer Assistance Centers that will provide tax preparation assistance to disabled veterans. A list for addresses and office hours can be found on the IRS Web site www.irs.gov under “Contact My Local Office,” or contact your nearest DAV National Service Office.