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Millions of Stimulus Bucks Still Unclaimed in VA

July 31, 2008

Richmond, VA - Millions of dollars that belong to Virginians are going unclaimed, as almost 125,000 Virginians have yet to file the necessary forms to receive their economic stimulus payments from the federal government.

Michael Cassidy of the Commonwealth Institute says that's because many older and low-income residents who were not required to file income tax returns in 2007 don't realize that they still qualify for the economic stimulus check. And they can receive it by sending in a simplified tax form, even though the annual income tax deadline has passed.

"Payments, which are worth a minimum of $300 per person, are not getting to many of the people who need them most, to cover basic expenses, like food and shelter."

Cassidy suggests talking to family members and friends if you believe they may not have filed, or may need help filing, to make sure they get their share. Right now, he believes, it's a good time to put money back into the economy.

"The payments could put over $37 million into Virginians' hands and help boost our local economy and help people struggling to make ends meet."

The deadline for filing the simplified tax form is October 15. It only takes a few minutes, and there are several resources for Virginians who may need filing assistance. They include local Internal Revenue Service offices, and the Community Tax Law Project at (804) 358-5855 or online at www.ctlp.org.
AARP also has a dedicated page on its Web site to help people fill out the tax forms, at www.aarp.org/stimulushelp.

Jaclyn Piermarini/Don Mathisen, Public News Service - VA