Last to file tax returns also last to get rebates

If you didn’t file your tax return well in advance of April 15, don’t expect your economic stimulus

If you didn’t file your tax return well in advance of April 15, don’t expect your economic stimulus check to follow the Internal Revenue Service schedule for direct deposit or mailed rebate check, officials said Tuesday.

“In general, the payment schedule only applies if your return was received and the IRS finished processing it before April 15. If you filed your return on time but close to the April 15 deadline, the IRS may not have finished processing it before April 15,” the agency said in a news release.

According to the IRS Web site, taxpayers’ direct deposit economic stimulus payments will be issued according to the last two digits of the main filer’s Social Security number, provided the return has been processed by April 15.

Taxpayers with Social Security numbers with the last two digits of 00 through 20 were to have received direct deposit payments by May 2; 21 through 75 should have gone out by May 9; and 76 through 99 by May 16.

A similar schedule for taxpayers who decided to receive rebate checks in the mail is also posted on the IRS Web site. Many taxpayers with the last two Social Security digits of 00 through 25 were expected to have received checks by today.

Delanson resident Bob Bartle, a retired accountant who worked for the state Department of Social Services, said he sent his tax return in April 1 and did not choose to have his check direct deposited. He said he has the last two digits of 06, so he expected he’d get his check in the mail around May 20. He said he still hasn’t gotten it.

“After a couple of weeks I wondered what the heck was going on,” Bartle said.

Bartle called the toll-free IRS Rebate Hotline at 1-866-234-2942 and discovered that his check probably isn’t coming until sometime in July.

“They’re obviously way behind,” he said. “I worked in the bureaucracy so I know how this can happen. They probably didn’t realize how big an undertaking this was.”

IRS spokeswoman Dianne Besunder said the IRS is not behind on sending out checks, and taxpayers with returns processed by April 15 are getting rebate checks on time. She said some taxpayers may not realize why some returns are delayed.

“One of the things we hear from people is that they were expecting a payment by the date listed for direct deposit but are actually being processed as paper checks since they had a financial arrangement with their preparer,” Besunder said.

Besunder said some taxpayers enter into an agreement with a tax return preparation service whereby filing fees are deducted from tax returns. She said when that happens either the tax return company gives the taxpayer a refund anticipation loan or mails them a check after they have received the payment. In either case the money usually arrives later than the Social Security schedules posted on the IRS Web site.

But for taxpayers like Bartle, who filed his own return two weeks before the deadline, the IRS offers cold comfort.

“Processing times for tax returns and stimulus payments vary. If you are getting a regular income tax refund, the IRS will send you that refund first. Normally, your stimulus payment will follow one to two weeks later,” according to IRS officials. “It will generally take a minimum of six weeks after you file your return to get your stimulus payment.”

Besunder said as of May 30, the U.S. Treasury Department has sent out 57.433 million total economic stimulus payments totaling $50 billion.

Categories: Schenectady County

Leave a Reply