IRS SENDS TAX REBATE NOTICE LETTERSWashington, D.C. — The Internal Revenue Service has sent letters to more than 130 million American households reminding them to file a 2007 tax return in order to receive a tax rebate or economic stimulus payment.

The Economic Stimulus Payment Notice alerts people that they may be eligible for a one-time stimulus payment of up to $600 ($1,200 for joint filers) starting in May, along with an additional $300-per-child payment for qualifying children younger than 17.

“These letters are the first step in an extensive outreach effort Treasury and the IRS will be leading over the weeks ahead to inform qualified Americans how to get their stimulus payment,” said Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in a statement. “For the majority of Americans, all they will need to do is file a tax return.”

Paulson noted that the IRS is working with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Social Security Administration, members of Congress, the AARP and other groups to reach those who do not normally file a return and ensure that they know how to get their stimulus payment this year.

The IRS also sent out a special mailing to some recipients of Social Security and Veterans Affairs benefits. Those benefits are typically nontaxable and recipients do not have to file tax returns. However, this year, in order to receive a stimulus payment, people in this group need to file a tax return if they have at least $3,000 from a combination of certain Social Security benefits, veterans’ benefits and earned income. The minimum stimulus payment for them is $300, or $600 for joint filers.

MASSACHUSETTS FIRMS MERGE

Westwood, Mass. — Accounting firms Gray, Gray & Gray and Patterson & Gerry have merged, expanding Gray’s presence in the Massachusetts market.

The combined firms will operate under the Gray, Gray & Gray name. The three partners at Patterson & Gerry — James Patterson, Paul Gerry and Richard Tardiff — are becoming partners at Gray, raising the total partner count there to 13. The total employee count at the combined firm will be approximately 85 employees.

Gray, Gray & Gray was founded in Boston in 1945 and moved to Westwood in 1999. Patterson & Gerry dates back to 1982 and was founded in Framingham. Gray plans to retain the Framingham office and all of Patterson’s employees.

The reason for the Gray and Patterson merger, according to Bill McDonough, an outside spokesman, was to “give them more heft in the market.” The services from the two firms also dovetailed together well. Both firms serve closely held businesses and provide accounting, audit, tax strategy, estate planning, investment advisory and business advisory services. Financial details of the transaction were not available, nor were revenue figures for the two firms.

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