U.S. Representative Judy Biggert (R-IL-13) today showed local Social Security recipients how to receive a $300 economic stimulus rebate. Joined by John Day, President of the DuPage Housing Authority, and several officials from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Biggert gave seniors at Ogden Manor in Naperville tips on determining their eligibility for a rebate check and how to file with the IRS.
"For people who filed or plan to file taxes for 2007, the rebates will be automatic - you do not need to file any additional paperwork," said Biggert. "But Social Security recipients who don't otherwise file taxes with the IRS will need to send in a 1040A form to receive their $300 check."
With Biggert's support, Congress recently approved a bipartisan economic stimulus package that gives a minimum $300 rebate to anyone who earned or received at least $3,000 in income, Social Security or certain Veterans' benefits in 2007. To receive the rebate, individuals must file tax returns for 2007. Because many Social Security recipients do not normally file tax returns, they need to file a 1040A or other applicable tax form with the IRS to receive their rebate.
"It's easy to do, and it absolutely will not affect your Social Security benefits in any way," said Biggert. "It just lets the IRS know that you're entitled to receive a rebate check in the mail because you received over $3,000 in Social Security benefits last year."
Rebates are phased out for those individuals earning over $75,000 ($150,000 for couples). The IRS will begin sending checks this May. Information on the rebate and copies of the 1040A form may be found at www.irs.gov or by calling the IRS Hotline 1-800-906-9887. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) also has established a toll-free hotline at 1-888-227-7669. On Saturday, March 29th, the IRS also is hosting a "Super Saturday" at 300 IRS offices - including those in Orland Park and Downers Grove - where retirees will be able to get personal filing assistance from 9am to 3pm.
"We want all our eligible seniors to receive their checks, so don't hesitate to have your neighbor or loved one call my office for assistance or to get a copy of the form," said Biggert. "The number for my Willowbrook office is (630) 655-2052."
Biggert also asked seniors to be wary of scams involving the upcoming stimulus rebates. There are reports of individuals fraudulently posing as IRS agents and asking for personal and financial information via phone or e-mail. The IRS does not call or email individuals asking for such information.
"And don't be afraid to spend this money," said Biggert. "The idea is to boost the economy by helping our local business with extra sales. But if you want to save it, that's OK too."