IRS to offer extra help on 'Super Saturday'
The Internal Revenue Service and scores of its partners nationwide will open hundreds of locations on Super Saturday, March 29, in an effort to reach those Americans who are eligible for the economic stimulus payment but who normally are not required to file an income tax return.
Approximately 320 IRS offices will be open on Super Saturday to prepare the simple Form 1040A for people who are filing a return solely to receive their stimulus payment. IRS partners such as AARP, United Way of America, and dozens of others also are making special efforts on Super Saturday to reach out to those who normally are not required to file a tax return.
"We don't want any Americans to miss out on their economic stimulus payment. For millions of Americans, filing a tax return is not routine. Their income is either too low or not taxable. But this year, filing a 2007 tax return is the only way to receive an economic stimulus payment. Super Saturday is one way the IRS and its partners are working to ensure everyone eligible receives a stimulus payment," said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman.
Super Saturday, part of an extensive outreach effort by the IRS, is a one-day event for which Americans can plan in advance. It also highlights the need for all taxpayers to file as soon as possible to avoid the April 15 rush.
Millions of Americans who do not pay federal income taxes may be eligible for a $300 payment ($600 for married couples) if they have at least $3,000 in qualifying income. Qualifying income is defined as any combination of earned income such as wages, nontaxable combat pay and certain benefits from Social Security, Veterans Affairs, and Railroad Retirement. Many households also will be eligible for an additional $300 for each qualifying child younger than 17.
The IRS this week is mailing 20.5 million Social Security and Veterans Affairs recipients a Package 1040A-3 that contains all the information they need to file a return immediately. Railroad Retirement recipients, low-income individuals and military personnel with nontaxable combat pay also can use the package if they need to file solely to receive the payment.
The 320 IRS offices are located in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Operating hours will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., although some may be open longer. IRS employees will help prepare the Form 1040A returns for low-income workers, retirees, disabled veterans, and others. IRS field assistance personnel also will visit nursing homes and similar locations to prepare returns.
The IRS has published a list of IRS offices and partner sites providing assistance on Super Saturday. If taxpayers have economic stimulus questions on March 29, they can call 1-866-234-2942. These phone services are available on March 29 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. local time. (Alaska and Hawaii service is based on Pacific Time Zone.)
IRS partners are actively involved in reaching out to these people to help them receive their payments. Many are using innovative techniques to ensure eligible recipients who normally are not required to file a tax return receive the payment they are due. Here is just a brief sampling of partner activities and the complete list is still evolving:
Sweetwater, FL: Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez will conduct a press conference at City of Sweetwater's Jorge Mas Canosa Youth Center free tax preparation site staffed by Florida International University students.
Baltimore, MD: Baltimore Commission on Disability will help prepare returns for people with disabilities and others;
Houston, TX: Ripley Neighborhood Center will prepare returns for Social Security recipients and veterans;
Manning, SC: Antioch Baptist Church will host a tax preparation day for Form 1040A filers;
Boston, MA: Mayor Thomas Menino will open 10 locations throughout the city to prepare Form 1040A returns;
Aurora, CO: IRS partners printed Economic Stimulus Payment information in Vietnamese and will be available at two locations to assist the Vietnamese community;
Fresno, CA: Hispanic Internal Revenue Employees (HIRE) chapter members have volunteered to prepare returns at the Fresno Veteran's Hospital and the Aging Adult Center.
Starting in May, the IRS will issue economic stimulus payments of up to $600 ($1,200 for married couples) plus additional payments of $300 for each for qualifying child. Most Americans don't need to do anything more than file their tax returns as they normally do. The maximum payments will begin to phase out at $75,000 in adjusted gross income ($150,000 for married couples).
The IRS encourages everyone who is required to file a tax return to do so prior to the April 15 deadline to enable the agency to process the return and to calculate stimulus payment eligibility and amounts. Taxpayers who already have filed a tax return can calculate their potential payment amounts.
The IRS reminds taxpayers that they can get their stimulus payments faster by using direct deposit when they file their tax return.
In addition, the IRS urges taxpayers to file electronically. For people who normally are not required to file a tax return, the IRS and the Free File Alliance have a special program set up to allow for free electronic filing. For those with computer access, IRS Free File –Economic Stimulus Payment is available at IRS.gov.
Also, people should be wary of unsolicited e-mail or telephone calls from anyone claiming to be from the IRS. Don't click on any links. Instead, forward the e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, and then delete it. Use the same e-mail address to report unsolicited telephone calls.