Economic Stimulus Rebate Check Frequently Asked Questions
March 27, 2008
JKLasser, the company that puts out an annual tax guide, sent me the following information about the rebate checks that will be going out to some people. From the looks of things, we should get back $1500. It will be a nice little boost for our vacation fund but I’m sure it won’t help the federal deficit any. Anyhow, below are some answers to frequently asked questions about the rebates.
What Do You Have to Do to Get a Check?
-To get a rebate check, you must file a tax return; either a form 1040, 1040A or 1040-EZ federal tax return for tax year 2007. You can file for free with Tax Cut.
–Persons who do not normally file tax returns, like retirees, will have to file a 2007 tax return in order to get a rebate check.
When Will the Checks be Mailed?
–The IRS will begin mailing the rebate checks starting on May 2. The Treasury estimates that it should take about 10 weeks for all the checks to be mailed.
-Persons who fail to file their 2007 tax returns by April 15, 2008 and request a filing extension may not receive rebate checks until as late as December.
Who Will Get Tax Rebate Checks? How Much Will You Get?
–Single tax filers with adjusted gross income (AGI) less than $75,000 and couples filing jointly with AGIs less that $150,000 will qualify for full rebates.
–Qualifying single filers (AGI less than $75,000) will get rebates of up to $600. Qualifying couples (AGI less than $150,000) will get rebates of up to $1,200, plus $300 per dependent child, with no maximum on the number of eligible children.
–Persons who owe no income taxes, but earned at least $3,000 in wages, Social Security benefits or veterans disability benefits will get rebate checks of $300 for individuals and $600 for couples.
What if You Made More than the Maximum Income?
You will still get a check, but it will be reduced by 5-percent of the amount you earned above the AGI income caps of $75,000 for single filers and $150,000 for couples. At some income point above the AGI income caps, the rebate checks will phase out completely.
–For Singles, the phaseout levels begin at $75k and end at $87k, at a reduction of 5% per $1,000 over the lower limit. If you earn above $87k, you’re over and thus get nothing.
–For couples, the phaseout levels begin at $150k and end at $174, at a reduction of 5% per $1,000 over the lower limit. If you earned above $174k, you’re over and also get nothing.
Some people won’t get a stimulus payment. How do you know if you’re one of them?
You won’t get a stimulus payment in 2008, if any of the following apply to you:
–Your net income tax liability is zero and your qualifying income is less than $3,000. To determine your qualifying income, add together your wages, net self-employment income, nontaxable combat pay, Social Security benefits, certain Railroad Retirement benefits and certain veterans’ payments.
–You can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return. For example, this would include a child or student who can be claimed on a parent’s return.
–You do not have a valid Social Security Number.
–You are a nonresident alien.
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