Monday, April 14, 2008
A TAX DAY REMINDER FROM SEN. MENENDEZ
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 14, 2008
CONTACTS:Afshin Mohamadi 202-224-4744
New Jersey Senator wants taxpayers to have full information on rebates, beware of scams
WASHINGTON – Tomorrow is Tax Day, and U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) is working to make sure that every New Jerseyan is fully aware of the available tax rebates and is vigilant about scammers who are using the rebates as an opportunity to commit identity theft. This year, Congress passed an economic stimulus package to give a boost to the sagging economy – through that legislation, 3.8 million New Jerseyans are eligible to receive tax rebates this year.
Senator Menendez on rebates:
“In these tough economic times, so many in our state are seeing their bills pile up, and they should have all the information they need to take advantage of these rebates,” said Senator Menendez. “I want working New Jerseyans to know that just filing a tax return, even if it is at the last minute, will ensure that they will receive a stimulus rebate sometime between May and July, in addition to any other potential tax refund they are due. If anyone has any questions or concerns, they can contact my offices for assistance.”
Menendez on scams:
Senator Menendez also said: “Unfortunately, tax time is a chance for scammers to take advantage of innocent taxpayers, and I want the people of our state to be aware of this potential hazard. Scammers may pose as the federal government on the phone or through email in order to solicit personal identification information. Taxpayers should remember that the IRS or the government will never ask for information like ATM pin numbers, nor do they make unsolicited calls or emails to taxpayers. The same rules apply for the stimulus rebate – there is no reason to give personal information to any anyone who calls or emails for it to receive this rebate.”
Overview of rebates:
· Who is eligible?
o Individuals who earned between $3,000 and $87,000 and couples filing jointly who earned up to $174,000 in 2007. This can be a combination of income, wages, Social Security benefits, veterans' disability benefits or certain Railroad Retirement benefits from the 2007 tax year.
o Seniors who have at least $3,000 in Social Security benefits are eligible for a rebate (more than a million New Jersey seniors are eligible).
o Disabled veterans with no taxable income who have at least $3,000 in benefits are eligible for a rebate (250,000 veterans nationwide).
· How much are the rebates? $300-$600 for individuals or $600-$1,200 for married couples filing jointly. $300 for each child under 17.
· Does everyone eligible receive the full rebate?
o Individuals earning up to $75,000 ($150,000 for those filing jointly) who have paid at least $600 in taxes will receive a $600 rebate. For those who earn between $75,000 and $87,000 (between $150,000 and $174,000 for those filing jointly) the rebate amount will be reduced by $50 for every $1,000 above that threshold.
§ Individuals who did not pay taxes, but have at least $3,000 in qualifying income, will receive a rebate check of $300 if single, or $600 for married couples filing jointly.
· How to receive rebates:
o Most who are eligible do not have to do anything additional to get their rebate check. They will be automatically enrolled in the economic stimulus rebate program when they file their taxes before or on April 15th.
o Two groups that may have to take an additional step to get their checks are seniors who receive Social Security but don't earn wages, and veterans who receive disability benefits but don't pay taxes. (More information on these groups below).
· When will the checks arrive? Eligible taxpayers can expect to receive their checks in the mail sometime between May and July, or sooner if they opted for an electronic transfer.
· Information for seniors and veterans on receiving rebates: Seniors who receive Social Security but don't earn wages and veterans who receive disability benefits but don't pay taxes must file an income tax return to be eligible. They should use a simplified IRS form 1040A, available at most public libraries and write 'Stimulus Payment' at the top of the form.
Defending against identity thieves:
· Taxpayers can forward scam emails to: email@example.com
· For more information on scams, taxpayers can visit: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=155682,00.html
· If a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income was $54,000 or less in 2007, he or she can file their federal taxes for free -- http://www.irs.gov/efile/article/0,,id=118986,00.html