CFO Alex Sink's Consumer eViews Newsletter

Volume 5 Number 32 August 8, 2008

CONSUMER SERVICES HELPLINE 877-MY-FL-CFO

 

MONEY IN YOUR POCKET - DON'T MISS OUT ON YOUR STIMULUS PAYMENT

Have you received your stimulus payment? More than 400,000 eligible Florida seniors and veterans have not filed for their stimulus checks. That’s more than $120 million that eligible Floridians are leaving on the table. The good news – it’s not too late!

If you want your stimulus payment, you need to file a tax return first. This is especially important for retirees and disabled veterans who don't normally need to file taxes. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) began sending out letters earlier this summer reminding eligible taxpayers who have not filed and extending the deadline to file until October 15, 2008.

“Many of Florida’s retirees, disabled citizens and veterans are entitled to an economic stimulus payment, but only if they request it by October 15, 2008,” said Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink. 

The most common reasons eligible recipients haven not filed for the stimulus payments include confusion with the eight-page booklet explaining how to fill out the 1040A form to get the one-time payment, or the unfounded concern that filing for the stimulus will impact current benefits or tax status. Fortunately, there's still time to file a 2007 federal income tax return and receive $300 - or $600 for those married and filing jointly - this year. Some also may be eligible for an additional $300 for each qualifying child.

The IRS wants Floridians to know that recipients will not owe taxes on their stimulus payment, and that receiving a stimulus payment does not have any impact on the eligibility for other federal benefits.

To be eligible for a stimulus payment, a federal income tax return for 2007 must show at least $3,000 in qualifying income, such as earned income, Social Security benefits, certain veterans' benefits and certain Railroad Retirement benefits. Supplemental Security Income is not qualifying income.

Floridians with questions can contact the Florida Department of Financial Services Consumer Helpline by calling 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236), toll-free in Florida and (850) 413-3030 from out of state. The IRS phone number for stimulus check questions is 1-866-234-2942 or visit the IRS at www.irs.gov for more information and local office locations.