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The Sciences

Science’s New Best Friend: The IRS?

Reality BaseBy Melissa LafskyJune 20, 2008 12:30 AM
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Despite heavy doses of skepticism from economists and other critics, Bush's 2008 stimulus package does appear to have boosted the economy—for the moment, anyway, and not without its price. But apparently the folks in Washington are worried that not everyone is taking advantage of their one-time-only rebate. So worried, in fact, that they appear to be turning to just about any possible venue to get the word out about this year's stimulus check—or so it seems, based on the following email we received at DISCOVER's offices from a media relations staffer at the IRS:

Dear [redacted],

We need your help at the Internal Revenue Service. A few of the readers of Discover Magazine could be missing the opportunity to claim an Economic Stimulus Payment by not filing a tax return. Many more could already have received a check but know someone that never filed who would qualify to get the rebate. Without a 2007 Tax Return the Federal Government cannot issue a payment. At the IRS, we are making an effort to alert everyone to file a 2007 Tax Return before OCTOBER 15, to be sure to get stimulus payment this year. I understand this story may not be an obvious choice for you, but I think it would be great to present it as "extra cash you could use to fund your scientific pursuits." If you could include a few lines addressing the deadline on your next issue and/or your website, it would really help us reach out to those who would otherwise miss this significant benefit. This is one of the Frequently Asked Questions we have posted on our website Q. I have not yet filed my 2007 tax return. Can I still qualify for a stimulus payment in 2008? A. Yes, but you must file a 2007 tax return. The IRS encourages you to file a return even if your income is low or much of your income is tax-free. If you file after April 15, with or without a tax-filing extension, your payment will be delayed. If you qualify for a payment, you can ensure that you get it by filing your return by Oct. 15, 2008. There are many, many more on www.IRS.gov. Please let me know if you need specific details to tailor this message to your targeted audience. There's still time to file and get this money!

So there you have it—the IRS working hard to promote science, and make sure you get your $600 check. Assuming, of course, that you aren't planning to put it towards stem cell research.

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