WASHINGTON — Don't be alarmed. More than 130 million households will get letters from the Internal Revenue Service beginning next week and the news is good.
The letters are part of an effort to ensure people do not miss out if they are eligible for a tax rebate check under the recently passed $168 billion economic aide plan.
The IRS is reminding people to file a 2007 tax return so they will receive the payment.
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said his department and the IRS would work hard to get the word out. "For the majority of Americans, all they will need to do is file a tax return,” Paulson said in a statement.
He said the IRS would work with the Veterans Affairs Department, the Social Security Administration and private groups such as AARP to "reach those who do not normally file a return and ensure they know how to get their stimulus payment this year.”
The letters carry the headline "Economic Stimulus Payment Notice” and begin "Dear Taxpayer.” They say the IRS is pleased to inform the recipient that Congress passed and President Bush signed into law a plan that will provide payments to more than 130 million households.
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said the IRS should focus "its time, energy and money” figuring out how to speed up the mailing of the checks. They are scheduled to go out starting in May.
The mailing that people will get next week tells them they may qualify for a one-time payment of up to $600 for individuals or $1,200 for a married couple filing jointly; there are additional payments of $300 for each qualifying child younger than 17.