U.S. Congressman Todd Platts (PA-19) announced today that approximately 180,000 Pennsylvania residents who are enrolled in Social Security or receiving disability benefits from the Veterans Administration have not yet satisfied the requirement of filing a 2007 income tax return to receive an economic stimulus check from the federal government. Of the thousands of Pennsylvania residents in this group, the majority are 65 years of age or older.
In Adams, Cumberland and York counties, approximately 6,900 eligible residents have yet to file a 2007 income tax return or failed to include accurate information on their return. Of those residents, approximately 900 live in Adams County, 2,000 live in Cumberland County and 4,000 live in York County.
"The economic stimulus program is meant to provide individuals and families a small measure of relief from the difficult economic climate we are facing," said Congressman Todd Platts. "With the rising cost of gas, food and prescription medications, the economic stimulus plan can provide much-needed assistance to veterans, Social Security beneficiaries and other citizens who are struggling to make ends meet."
Congress and President George W. Bush agreed to make the economic stimulus program available to certain seniors, disabled veterans and other Americans with little or no income tax liability to provide relief to those most in need. Those individuals have until October 15th to file a 2007 federal income tax return in order to join the list of Pennsylvanians who will receive an economic stimulus payment. To be eligible, a citizen must have at least $3,000 in qualifying income from Social Security benefits, veteran's disability payments, or wages and salaries. The payment for these individuals averages $300 per person.
IRS Announces Change Regarding Social Security Numbers
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has determined there is no legal requirement that the name used on a taxpayer's economic stimulus payment return match the name provided in Social Security Administration records. The IRS had been denying stimulus payments when the Social Security number and name did not identically match - for example, if a woman became married, took her husband's last name, but did not yet change her name with the Social Security Administration. The IRS will now issue stimulus payments to citizens who were previously denied them, but those citizens must contact the IRS to request issuance of the economic stimulus payment.
The IRS must make the Social Security number adjustment no later than December 5, 2008. The IRS will not issue the economic stimulus payment if the taxpayer provided an incorrect Social Security number on their original return.
To determine eligibility for a stimulus payment or to receive filing instructions, citizens should visit the IRS taxpayer assistance center in the 19th Congressional District at 2801 Eastern Boulevard in York. The center is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30am-1:00pm and from 2:00pm-4:30pm. The center serves taxpayers on a walk-in basis; no telephone calls are accepted. Citizens may also contact the IRS Economic Stimulus Rebate Hotline at 1-866-234-2942, the IRS Refund Hotline at 1-800-829-1954, or the Individual Tax Help Hotline at 1-800-829-1040. The IRS Taxpayer Advocate may also be helpful at 1-877-777-4778. Citizens with additional questions regarding the economic stimulus program can contact Congressman Platts' York office at (717) 600-1919.