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Economic Stimulus Payments

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- Beginning in May, the Internal Revenue Service will begin sending economic stimulus payments, intended to boost the U. S. economy, to more than 130 million individuals. The stimulus payments will go out through the late spring and summer based on Social Security Number order.

The IRS will use 2007 tax returns to determine eligibility and calculate the basic amount of the payment. In most cases, the payment will equal the amount of tax liability on the return with a maximum amount of $600 for individuals ($1,200 for taxpayers who file a joint return) and a minimum of $300 for individuals ($600 for taxpayers who file a joint return).

The vast majority of Americans who qualify for a payment will not have to do anything other than file their 2007 individual income tax return to receive their economic stimulus payment this year.

Stimulus payments will be directly deposited to taxpayers who select that option when filing their 2007 tax returns. Taxpayers who have already filed with direct deposit won't need to do anything else to receive the stimulus payment. Direct deposit is the fastest way to get both regular refunds and stimulus payments.

Military personnel who normally would not file an income tax return because their 2007 income is not taxable can file a Form 1040A with the IRS if they want to receive the economic stimulus payment. They should report their nontaxable combat pay on Line 40b of the Form 1040A to show at least $3,000 in qualifying income. The Department of Defense lists the amount of excluded combat pay, along with the designation, "Code Q," in Box 12 of Forms W-2.

If a military person is serving in a combat zone, his or her normal tax filing requirement is extended until at least 180 days after leaving a combat zone. However, spouses or others with a power of attorney can prepare and file a 2007 income tax return on their behalf by Oct. 15 so that the stimulus payment is received this year. Otherwise, the economic stimulus payment can be claimed on next year's income tax return.

The IRS has developed Package 1040A-3 an eight-page publication containing tax tips, a sample Form 1040A and a blank Form 1040A. The package, available at www.irs.gov, contains everything needed to file the return immediately.

If there are any questions please contact the Ellsworth Legal Office at 385-2329 or the Internal Revenue Service toll free at 1-800-829-1040. For more military related tax questions, visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov. Additional information about Ellsworth's tax preparation services can be found here.