We need to spread the word on this message far and wide.
Bottom-line: military members (who don't have to file a return for 2007 due to combat pay exclusions from taxes) will not get the economic stimulus package payment unless they file a return (even for zero payment or zero pay back).
Here's the message:
The IRS is trying to get the word out to everyone who might not have a requirement to file a tax return that the only way to receive a stimulus payment is to file a 2007 return.
In addition to reaching out the the retired veterans, did you know that a soldier/sailor/airmen/marine who normally is not required to file a return because their only income consists of excludable combat pay, may be eligible for a stimulus payment? If the excluded combat pay amount is at least $3,000 they must file a tax return to receive a stimulus payment. The excluded combat pay would be reported on Line 40b of Form 1040A. Using this line on the form is an election to treat the nontaxable combat pay as earned income for EITC purposes, which may also help provide tax refunds on the original return filing for some combat soldiers. The soldier would usually be eligible for the minimum payment of $300, plus $300 for a spouse on a joint return. Each qualifying child would add another $300 to the total payment. See the sample Form 1040A on the IRS Web site for how the soldier (or other folks who normally do not file a tax return) would file to get a stimulus payment http://www.irs.gov/pub/newsroom/1040a.pdf They should elect direct deposit to get their stimulus payment the quickest way possible.
Have you already visited the Rebate Questions? link on IRS.gov?
There is a lot more Tax Information for Members of the Military on IRS.gov. Just click the link and go to "Individuals" and then "Military."