Seniors Need to File Tax Return to Get Rebate Check

Seniors can benefit from the economic stimulus law enacted on February 13, 2008, but they need to file an income tax return. Seniors, disabled veterans, and veterans' widows will receive $300 payments if they earned $3,000 in Social Security or veterans' disability benefits in 2007. In addition, workers who earned at least $3,000, but not enough to pay income taxes, will be eligible for payments of $300. For higher income individuals, the law provides rebate checks of up to $600 per individual. The stimulus payment begins to phase out for individuals with adjusted gross incomes (AGI) over $75,000 and married couples who file a joint return with AGI over $150,000.

In order to get a rebate, you need to file an income tax return even if you do not have any tax liability. If you are filing to receive your stimulus payment, you can use the IRS Free File program to help you file returns for 2007. To learn more about this, click here.

You will need to report any Social Security income on the tax return. This does not mean you will be taxed on your Social Security income, but you must report it in order to get the rebate. If you file the tax return on time, you should receive the rebate check in May or June.

Deceased Spouses Also Eligible

Individuals who died in 2007 or 2008 are also eligible for stimulus payments if they earned at least $3,000 in 2007 and the surviving spouse or personal representative files a tax return. The stimulus payment can be made payable to the surviving spouse.

For more information on the stimulus payments and what income tax forms to file, go to or call 1-800-829-1040.

For a Senior Journal article "IRS Helps Low-Income Senior Citizens Qualify for Economic Stimulus Payments," click here.