I.R.S. Update on Economic Stimulus Payments
“File your 2007 return - we’ll do the rest”
The Internal Revenue Service is advising taxpayers that
in most cases they will not have to do anything extra this year to get the
economic stimulus payments beginning in May. “If you are eligible for a
payment, all you have to do is file a 2007 tax return and the IRS will do
the rest,” said Acting IRS Commissioner Linda Stiff. The IRS will use
information on the 2007 tax return filed by the taxpayer to determine
eligibility and calculate the amount of the stimulus payments.
The IRS will begin sending taxpayers their payments in early May after the
current tax season concludes. Payments to more than 130 million taxpayers
will continue over several weeks during the spring and summer.
Stimulus payments will be direct deposited for taxpayers selecting that
option when filing their 2007 tax returns. For taxpayers who haven’t filed
their 2007 returns yet, the IRS reminds them that direct deposit is the
fastest way to get both regular refunds and/or stimulus payments. Most
taxpayers just need to file a 2007 tax return as usual. No other action,
extra form or call is necessary.
The law also allows for payments for select taxpayers who have no tax
liability, such as low-income workers or those who receive Social Security
benefits or veterans’ disability compensation, pension or survivors’
benefits received from the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2007. These
taxpayers are eligible to receive a payment of $300 ($600 on a joint return)
if they had at least $3,000 of qualifying income.
Qualifying income includes Social Security benefits, certain Railroad
Retirement benefits, certain veterans’ benefits and earned income, such as
income from wages, salaries, tips and self-employment. While these people
may not be required normally to file a tax return because they do not meet
the filing requirement, the IRS emphasizes they must file a 2007 return in
order to receive a payment. “Some people receiving Social Security and
veterans’ benefits may not realize they will need to file a tax return to
get the stimulus payment,” Stiff said. Eligible taxpayers who qualify for a
payment will receive an additional $300 for each child who qualifies for the
child tax credit.
Payments to higher income taxpayers will be reduced by 5 percent of the
amount of adjusted gross income above $75,000 for individuals and $150,000
for those filing jointly.
Taxpayers must have valid Social Security Numbers to qualify for the
stimulus payment. If married filing jointly, both taxpayers must have a
valid Social Security Number. And, children must have valid Social Security
Numbers to be eligible as qualifying children.
Contributed by Joseph E. Krebs, CPA, a Thailand based U.S. tax practitioner.
For additional information, go to http://www.us-taxpayers.com.
Convention and Exhibition
Bureau offers free e-survey facility
Meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions
The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau has launched a new
e-survey service that gives Thai meetings, incentives, conventions and
exhibitions suppliers a free in-depth market research and analysis
The e-survey, which has been on a trial run since November last year,
allows event organisers to make use of TCEB’s survey and analysis system
in a format that can be customised for each event. The system is
expected to lessen the use of paper surveys and save time with its
automated analysis report feature. TCEB has so far provided e-survey and
analysis reports to four events in Thailand, including the Bio Asia 2007
exhibition and conference held in Bangkok from November 7 to 9, 2007 by
SLM Management and Thailand’s National Center for Genetic Engineering
SLM Management marketing director, Ms Nonglak Jitjeankhan, said TCEB’s
e-survey had proved useful as it obtained delegates’ feedback on a macro
basis by regarding Thailand as a MICE destination and hence allowed the
company to learn more of delegates’ travelling patterns and needs. TCEB
president, Mr Natwut Amornvivat, said the e-survey would help enhance
the global competitiveness of the local MICE suppliers who could use the
survey results to effectively respond to both event delegates’ needs and
the fast-changing global market. (TTG)
Warning - Phishing scams involving
proposed I.R.S. advance payment checks
Beware of emails and phone calls using I.R.S. name!
IRS officials are cautioning taxpayers to be aware of scams involving
proposed advance payment checks. Although the government has not yet
enacted an economic stimulus package in which the IRS provides advance
payments, known informally as rebates to many Americans, a scam using
the proposed rebates as bait has started. The goal of the scams is to
trick people into revealing personal and financial information, such as
Social Security, bank account or credit card numbers, which the scammers
can use to commit identity theft. Some examples of scams are listed
Rebate phone call
Scam: Consumers receive a phone call from someone identifying himself as
an IRS employee. The caller tells the targeted victim that he or she is
eligible for a sizable rebate for filing his or her taxes early. Fact:
The IRS does not gather the information by telephone.
Scam: The IRS has seen several variations of a refund-related
bogus e-mail, which falsely claims to come from the IRS, telling the
recipient that he or she is eligible for a tax refund for a specific
amount. Fact: The IRS does not send unsolicited e-mail about tax
account matters to individuals or businesses.
Scam: An e-mail notifies a recipient that his or her tax return
will be audited. It may contain a salutation in the body addressed to
the specific recipient by name. Fact: The IRS does not send unsolicited,
tax-account related emails to taxpayers.
Paper check phone call
Scam: In a current telephone scam, a caller claims to be an IRS
employee who is calling because the IRS sent a check to the individual
being called. The caller states that because the check has not been
cashed, the IRS wants to verify the individual’s bank account number.
Fact: The IRS does not contact taxpayers to verify bank information.
The only official IRS web site is located at www.irs.gov.
People who have received a questionable e-mail claiming to come from the
IRS may forward it to a mailbox the IRS has established to receive such
emails, [email protected] Those who have received a questionable
telephone call that claims to come from the IRS may also use the
[email protected] mailbox to notify the IRS of the scam.
Contributed by Joseph E. Krebs, CPA, a Thailand based U.S. tax
practitioner. For additional information, go to
Tee-off at Angkor
Victoria Angkor Resort and Spa hotel in Cambodia has inked a partnership
agreement with the new Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap, which opened in
Its guests can play at the Nick Faldo designed, 18-hole PGA
(Professional Golfers’ Association)-standard championship golf course at
discounted green fees and at preferred tee-off times. They can also use
the services of four caddies dedicated to Victoria Angkor’s guests.
The golf course is located 10 minutes away from the hotel by car and
transfer is provided at no extra charge. (TTG)
Government declares March 13 as National Elephant Day
Ngan Chang Event to open at Airport Plaza
The Press Launch of the ‘Inspired Creativity
at Denchai Trading Estate. Anchalee Kalmapijit, (second left),
wears one of the designs, together with Junnapong Saranak, (centre),
the Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s northern office.
The Thai Government has declared that National Elephant Day in Thailand
will be on March 13. Anchalee Kalmapijit, in her role as the President
of the ‘Hug Elephant Club’, along with Maetaman Elephant Camp, will
exhibit 40 creations from the ‘Inspired Creativity Collection” at Ngan
Chang event in the Northern Village area of Central Airport Plaza
situated on the first and second floors. The event will run from
Thursday March 13 until Monday March 31. The British designer Lawrence
Goldberg and the Thai designer Apinporn Kiratibhumidhama collaborated to
produce over 40 unique designs which were then painted by elephants at
the Elephant Life Experience. The objectives of the exhibition are to
publicize the development of Elephant Art in Thailand, and to fund the
Thai Elephant conversation campaign.
ICCM “litter-pick” a great success
Lanna International School students join in
Joint forces clean up the environment.
This week is a week for celebrating. One of Chiang Mai’s most beautiful
tourist spots was made even more beautiful by the combined powers of two
groups of community-minded locals. The International Citizens of Chiang
Mai joined forces with the Lanna International School Community Service
Group to take part in a litter pick at the Huay Kaew waterfall near the
base of Doi Suthep.
Armed with little more than plastic gloves, black bags and civic pride
the group managed to gather at least seven full bags of litter from the
popular waterfall. “It was hard,” said one of the Lanna students,
“because most of the litter we were collecting was small items like beer
bottle tops and cigarette ends”. The most unusual thing found by the
team was a discarded pair of men’s underpants. How someone loses their
underpants at a waterfall was the topic of much discussion.
The team was thanked by the park authorities for the positive
contribution they were making to the local environment, and hoped that
their high profile visibility would be a positive influence on people
visiting the waterfall at the time. It seems this may well have been the
case; one volunteer, John Richard, described how one group of picnicking
visitors had not only contributed their own garbage but actively helped
by picking up other litter in their vicinity.
The success of the venture means that there will be another litter-pick
organized in the not too distant future, possibly looking at one of the
waterfalls further up the mountain in the park. Anyone interested in
getting involved and helping to keep this beautiful area beautiful can
contact the International Citizens of Chiang Mai on gumhakdoisuthep