IRS to help non-filers get checks.
The Internal Revenue Service will open some 320 offices on Saturday, March 29, to help low-income people including some retirees and veterans get the checks they are eligible for under the economic stimulus act passed by Congress in January. The tax agency said Monday that community and advocacy groups such as the AARP and United Way of America will also make special efforts on that day to ensure that people who don't ordinarily file tax returns don't miss out on the payment. Under the stimulus act, people are eligible to receive at least $300, with married couples getting $600. Many households also can get an additional $300 for each qualifying child younger than 17. But people must file a tax return to receive the payment, raising concerns that those who don't usually need to file will be overlooked. The IRS said that this week it is also mailing out packages to 20.5 million people receiving Social Security and veterans benefits with information on filing a return. The IRS offices open on Saturday will offer assistance in preparing the Form 1040A needed for those filing a return solely to receive the stimulus payment. IRS field officers will also visit nursing homes and similar locations to prepare returns. To qualify, people must have at least $3,000 in earned income and certain benefits from Social Security, Veterans Affairs and Railroad Retirement. A list of IRS offices and partner sites providing assistance is available on the IRS website, http://www.irs.gov., or by calling the IRS hotline, 1-800-906-9887. On March 29, people can call 1-866-234-2942 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. local time.