CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Gov. Joe Manchin today reminded West Virginia senior citizens, veterans, low-income individuals and railroad retirees to file their federal income taxes by April 15 if they want to quickly receive a federal economic stimulus package payment.
Many of these West Virginians have not had to file their federal personal income tax return for several years and still do not have to file with the State Tax Department. However, to receive the stimulus payment of $300 for individuals and $600 for couples filing jointly, members of these groups must file their federal personal income tax with the Internal Revenue Service.
"I want to be sure that West Virginians know they must file with the federal government to receive the rebate," Manchin said. "Seniors, veterans, some railroad retirees and low-income West Virginians only have to file a federal 1040A form. They do not need to file with the state if they've not previously had to do so."
According to State Tax Commissioner Christopher Morris, some personal income tax returns have been sent to the state tax office seeking the federal stimulus payment.
"We're concerned the West Virginians who sent in state forms seeking the federal rebate have failed to properly request the rebate with the federal government," Morris said. "Such a mistake will cause these West Virginians to miss their share of the federal economic stimulus package."
To qualify, low-income, seniors, certain railroad retirees and some veterans receiving certain Veteran Affairs benefits have to claim a minimum of $3,000 in income, such as Social Security benefits, on their federal return. When filling out the 1040A form, this group must write that income amount on line 14a.
They must also complete the top section and fill out their name, address and Social Security number. It is important these West Virginians write "Stimulus Payment" across the top of the form prior to mailing it to the IRS.
"The sooner all West Virginians file their federal personal income taxes, the sooner they will each receive their rebate check," Manchin said.
To help all West Virginians complete the necessary paperwork by the April 15 filing deadline, the State Tax Department's Taxpayer Services office at 1206 Quarrier Street in Charleston will extend its hours. On Monday, April 14, and Tuesday, April 15, taxpayer representatives will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Quarrier Street location.
The Marmet Chapter of the AARP will assist seniors the week of April 14, as well. Help will be available at Chesapeake City Hall from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The State Tax Department estimates that 646,000 West Virginians are expected to receive a total of about $732.5 million in federal stimulus payments beginning in May. The average individual will receive a rebate of a $600, while married couples filing jointly will receive $1,200 and an additional $300 for each dependent.
Additional information regarding this federal program can be found on the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov or call 1-800-829-1040.