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?

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–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?

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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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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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24 Responses to Economic Stimulus Rebate Check Frequently Asked Questions

  • Jeremy Van Dorn

    Keep in mind you only would get $300/ person and an additional $300 for qualifying children if you owed no tax. If married you would receive $600 if you owed no tax. Otherwise if you owed tax of more than the rebate like most people you would receive $600 singly or $1200 jointly plus $300 for each additional qualifying child.

  • Jeremy Van Dorn

    Marshall your friends received $1200 because they had two qualifying children, $300 for each plus the $600 for filing jointly. Otherwise they received $1200 because they were married but filed seperately thus $600 each. When you file as married filing jointly you are already being given tax advanges that you would otherwise not get if married filing separately.

  • Jeremy Van Dorn

    Sanders if you made at least $3000.00 but otherwise owed no tax you would receive only $300 for yourself and $300 for your child. If you owed at least 600.00 you would have received $900.

  • Jeremy Van Dorn

    The stimulus check you received in 2008 isn’t taxable and isn’t considered income. It doesn’t need to be reported anywhere when you file in 2009.

  • Sonny Burnett

    Does anybody know what the impact of receiving the stimulus check during 2008 have on my 2008 income tax return?

  • G. Spiegel

    My wife and I received a $1200 stimulus check in September of 2008. We are both retired. I prepare our taxes and in my 2009 tax return I don’t know where to list the $1200. Is it listed as simple income or is there a special place on the 1040 form for it? (Better yet is it non-taxable so I don’t have to list it at all?)

  • William C Marshall

    My wife & I returned a joint tax returnfor 2007. We recieved a Stimulas check for $600.00 dollars .We were under the impression married couples would receive$1200 dollars .All of our friends $1200.00 dollars.Why would our not be the same?

  • Ramona a Sanders

    i am a single mom i filed my income tax for 2007 and i received a stimulus check in the amount of $600.00 I was under the assumption that for each child. Qualifing children that you received a $300.00 per child . I need to know what i need to do to find out this information. If i am entitled to this money or not.

  • Melodie Hayes

    My now ex husand and I still owe our state agency- my irs refund has been applied to the debt that we owed to the state agency – how can I find out if he has filed for a return and is his tax refund as well as his tax stimulus check applied to this outstanding debt

  • Carlton O Simmons

    I owe taxes for my state and my initial federal tax return was applied to the debt. This left me still owing about 700.00. Will my federal stimulus check be applied to that as well? I have read that it will not but I know they took it from my refund.

  • sarah

    What if you owe back taxes but less than your refund check will be? will they just send you the difference?

  • Matt

    We made more than the income limit in 2007 to get the “rebate” check. But we have 3 kids, so do we still get the “kid” checks? Or is that phased out too?

  • C. Knight

    Im a student but I made too much money for my parents to file me on their taxes. Does this mean I will get a stimulus check?

  • Lashnda Grant

    i want to know can the irs take some of your rebate check if you have something on your credit that needs to be taken care of

  • Russ

    I had self-employment income and I owe self-employment tax but through personal deduction ie, home interest my accountant had my income to zer so I was getting my federal tax dollars back.

    Will I get a refund? since I showed a profit and income and just through personal deductions I am a zero?

  • Teresa Martin

    I havn’t receive a Taxs rebate letter in the mail. I wanted to no who can i talk to and see if i’m getting one?

  • jb

    @4: an extension is extra time to file the actual return, not an extension to pay. The IRS still expects to be paid all taxes owed by April 15th, even with an extension.

    @1: according to a search on the IRS site, they won’t send the check until the actual return has been filed, regardless of extension.

  • Faisal

    1. You owe the tax man money. The IRS has acknowledged that it will deduct from all rebate checks any federal tax debt. The agency will also withhold on behalf of all 50 states, and even Puerto Rico and American Samoa, any money owed in state or territory taxes. If you owe back taxes to the IRS or any state government, you could see your rebate reduced or gone altogether.

  • JANE

    My husband and I filed our taxes together this year, married filing jointly. However, he did not have any income in 2007. Household income was within the guidelines to get the full rebate, but since I was the only source of income, would we get a $1200.00 rebate or a $600.00 rebate?

  • Celeste

    What if you owe the IRS and are making payments via a payment plan? Do they just keep the check and apply it to taxes owed? I have looked EVERYWHERE, no one has answered it that I have found.

  • Ed Jenkins

    I just had my tax extension e-filed through http://www.filelater.com. I’m wondering if that will trigger my rebate check, or if I have to wait until I file my actual return. Anyone know?

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