PITTSBURGH, April 18, 2008 — State Senator Wayne D. Fontana today urged citizens to make sure they are positioned to receive a federal stimulus check this year.

“People need to understand that it is not too late to qualify for a stimulus check,” Fontana said. “While most citizens who file a 2007 federal income tax return will automatically get a check, those who did not file a return need to provide some basic information on a federal return to qualify for the stimulus money.”

Fontana said there are many individuals, especially senior citizens who live on Social Security earnings, who aren’t required to file federal tax returns. However, if those same people want a stimulus check, they must complete a return this year.

“Even though the April 15 tax filing deadline has passed, you still have until October 15 to file a return for a stimulus check,” Fontana said. “My district office staff and I stand ready to help anyone apply and file for this benefit.”

The Brookline lawmaker added that the IRS has partnered with companies to offer free filing for people who don’t file a tax return, but need to file one for 2007 to receive their economic stimulus payment.  Information is available at: http://www.irs.gov/efile/article/0,,id=118986,00.html. Free help with completing the return is also available.

Starting in May, the U.S. Department of the Treasury is expected to begin sending out economic stimulus rebates to more than 130 million individuals and families. Eligible people will receive up to $600 ($1,200 for married couples), and parents will receive an additional $300 for each eligible child younger than 17.

Millions of retirees, disabled veterans and low-wage workers across the country are exempt from filing a tax return. Fontana reiterated that they must file a tax return this year in order to receive a stimulus payment.

For people who want to electronically file for the stimulus, Fontana said the IRS is offering “FREE File” for those who have no legal requirement to file a tax return but must file a return this year in order to receive a 2008 economic stimulus payment.

Additional information is available at the senator’s website: www.senatorfontana.com or www.irs.gov.