Consumer specialist urges state residents to claim stimulus payments

University Park, Pa. -- The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has recently announced that many Pennsylvania residents who are eligible for its economic stimulus payment have not filed yet, and an extension consumer specialist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences is suggesting ways to ensure that much-needed money gets into the state's economy.

"The IRS matched Social Security and Veterans Administration pension recipients with tax returns and found that thousands of dollars due to Pennsylvania residents had not been claimed as of June 19," explained Cathy Bowen, associate professor of agricultural and extension education. "Every little bit helps, and with today's gas prices alone, the stimulus rebate could make a big difference for some families.

"Even if you've already filed for your own stimulus payment, you can help an elder in your family or neighborhood to complete the paperwork necessary to receive theirs. It's not a huge amount of money, but almost anyone could use a few extra bucks to cover food and energy costs."

Eligible people will receive up to $600 ($1,200 for married couples), and parents will receive an additional $300 for each eligible child younger than 17. To qualify, taxpayers must have a valid Social Security number and $3,000 of 2007 income and must file a 2007 federal tax return. Retirees, disabled veterans and low-wage workers who usually are exempt from filing a tax return must do so this year in order to receive a stimulus payment.

IRS research indicates that 242,733 Pennsylvania residents are eligible for nearly $73 million in unclaimed stimulus checks. Amounts range from $18,400 for 62 residents of Mifflin County to more than $14.4 million for about 48,000 people living in Philadelphia County. Residents have until Oct. 15 to file a return and claim their payment. A county-by-county listing of unclaimed stimulus amounts is available at http://consumerissues.cas.psu.edu/FCEducation.html.

Those with online access can complete a 1040A form at https://aarp-stimulus2008.benefitscheckup.org/espp/fill_form.do. Once they've completed it, they should print two copies, mail one to the address below and keep the other for their records.

Residents who do not have Internet access should print the Form1040A and make copies as needed. Form 1040A, instructions and a completed example of how to file Form 1040A can be found at the IRS Web site (http://www.irs.gov) under "Tax Package 1040A-3." Pennsylvania residents should mail the completed Form 1040A to the Department of Treasury, Internal Revenue Service Center, Kansas City, MO 64999-0099.

EDITORS: Contact Cathy Bowen at 814-863-7870, or by e-mail at cbowen@psu.edu.

 

Contacts: 
Last Updated July 07, 2011