Unclaimed stimulus checks still available

Retirees, veterans: file and receive $300

KINGMAN - Time is running out for the more than 6,700 retirees and veterans living in Mohave County who are eligible for a stimulus payment but have not yet claimed it.

The Internal Revenue Service announced Thursday a new summer campaign to seek out the more than 5.2 million retirees and disabled veterans nationwide who still have not filed a tax return for their stimulus checks. Of that 5.2 million, 1,885 reside in Kingman proper, and more than 600 others live in Golden Valley, Dolan Springs, Chloride and Yucca, according to IRS spokesman Bill Brunson.

"We're talking about strictly the population that encompasses Social Security recipients, Railroad Retiree Tier 1 recipients, and recipients of non-taxable Veterans benefits," Brunson said. "These are individuals that we've been able to identify by working with the Social Security Administration and the Veterans Administration."

Authorized by the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, most stimulus payments amount to $600, or $1200 for married couples. But those with no tax filing requirement can expect a minimum payment of at least $300, provided they can prove they made at least $3,000 in qualifying income in the last fiscal year.

Qualifying income includes any combination of earned income, nontaxable combat pay or, in this case, certain payments from Social Security, Railroad Retirement or Veterans Affairs.

"The amount they're being paid would lend itself to them being eligible for a stimulus payment, but the law does not allow the stimulus payment to be made unless they file a 2007 tax return," Brunson said. "Nor does the law allow a stimulus payment to be made after Dec. 31, 2008."

Brunson stressed the need to file as soon as possible to ensure the IRS has enough time to process the information and mail the checks. People who aren't required to fill out a regular tax payment can fill out the 1040A form, which requires only one's name, address, dependents, the amount of qualifying income and a signature. The forms and their instructions are online at www.irs.gov.

"It can be either the 1040 or the 1040A," Brunson said. "What we're telling people is, don't wait until the last minute to file.

"If they file fairly soon, they will receive their stimulus payment before the end of the summer."