Alaskans who have not already done so have until midnight March 31 to file for their 2007 Permanent Fund Dividends.
For several years, residents have been able to file online, and as of March 13, some 377,000 Alaskans had chosen the method. Others have used the more traditional mail-in application form.
Applicants applying online immediately get a confirmation number proving that the PFD division has received the application. Those applying online can electronically sign their applications through the state’s myAlaska account. Visit www.pfd.state.ak.us to learn more about the electronic signature program and to set up a myAlaska account.
Alaskans with no computer access can apply online using public computers available at PFD Information Offices, at public libraries and at Legislative Information Offices. Those in outlying areas can call the PFD Division at 1-800-733-8813 for assistance.
Alaskans who choose to mail in their applications can check the status of their filings by visiting the same Web site and clicking on “Check PFD Status.”
In a recent public service announcement, the division said online applications must be completed before midnight on March 31.
Hand-delivered applications will be accepted at Fairbanks, Anchorage and Juneau PFD information offices until 5 p.m. on Friday, March 30. Mailed applications must be postmarked on or before March 31. The division reminds applicants that because March 31 is a Saturday, they should be aware that local post offices might have irregular hours.
Applicants qualifying for the Early Bird Direct Deposit program will be paid on Oct. 3. Others eligible for direct deposit will be paid Oct. 17.
Checks will be mailed beginning Nov. 13.
The size of the 2007 dividend will be announced September 24. Last year’s dividend was $1,106.96. This year’s is expected to be larger.
If you’ve ever wondered how the bean counters determine the size of your dividend check, here’s how they do it.
According to information from the Alaska Department of Revenue PFD Division, the first step in calculating the 2006 dividend was to add up the Permanent Fund’s statutory net income from the previous five years -- a figure that excludes income from the State v. Amerada Hess royalty case. (A reason the 2007 check should be larger is because the relatively weak earning year FY 2002 will be replaced in the calculation by the much healthier earnings from FY 2007.) Now, back to the 2006 calculation.
The FY 2002-FY 2006 five-year total, $6.558 billion, was then multiplied by a statutory 21 percent, giving an average yearly earning of $1.377 billion.
That amount was then divided in half to provide the statutory percentage allocated for dividends that is, $688.5 million.
To that was added the FY 2006 beginning balance in the dividend fund, or $7.8 million. From the $696.3 million total, about $27.9 million was subtracted, an amount representing prior year obligations, designated state expenses and costs associated with operating the Permanent Fund Dividend Division. That left $668.4 million. However, the fiscal surgery wasn’t yet complete.
Another $1.7 million was cut out to serve as reserves for payment of prior year dividends.
That left $666.7 million, which was divided by the estimated number of eligible applicants. Last year’s total number (un-rounded: $666,779,140.84) was divided by 602,350 to produce the $1,106.96 dividend.
Hal Spence can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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