JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-
Even though the elderly and retirees aren't required to file a tax return, they must show a record of their income in order to be eligible for the rebate check that's a part of the economic stiumulus package.
"If they don't file a return, the IRS has no way of knowing that they're out there and they're due a check," said Mac Primm, an accountant at H&R Block.
Qualifying income includes wages/self-employment, social security, veterans benefits, and railroad retirement
If any of those amount to $3,000 retirees and seniors will qualify for a $300 check for singles or a $600 check for couples.
So, how do you figure out what you make in social security?
"You'll either get a 1099 SSA form or you can figure your gross monthly social security," said Cynthia Abel, with the Northeast Arkansas Center On Aging. "That's before Medicare or anything's taken out and multiply it by 12 and you can get that amount too."
If you've got a reitrement income, you can get another 1099 form for that as well, but, there is one exception.
"Some people do draw supplemental security, which is called SSI," said Primm. "That will not be qualifying income for this purpose."
Another point for filers to be aware of, if you're declaring a dependent, that child must be under 17 years-old for you to qualify for the rebate.
Also, beware of scams.
"The IRS will never call you, they will never e-mail you," said Abel. "They send everything through the mail. It's on paper."
The AARP offers a program called Tax-Aide. Here are locations you might be interested in:
Cathedral Baptist Church
2706 Alexander Dr.
Koinonia Christian Fellowship
1 mile west of Imboden on Hwy 412
Horseshoe Bend Library
9 Club Rd.
Horseshoe Bend, AR