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Economic Stimulus Package

NOTE: Economic Stimulus Payments have ended, but we will maintain this page for those who need to file a 2008 Tax Return or a tax amendment for the 2008 Tax Year.

Is My Stimulus Payment Taxable?

Your Economic Stimulus Payment is not taxable, and it won't reduce your 2007 or 2008 tax refund, or increase the amount you owe when you file your 2008 Tax Return.

Stimulus Payments are Still Being Issued by the IRS

The US Treasury Dept. began sending economic stimulus payments in April 2008. Payments will continue to be issued by the IRS through 2008 for returns filed after April 15, 2008. You should wait 8-12 weeks after filing your return before you check on the status of your stimulus payment.

Have you filed your 2007 taxes and waited the appropriate length of time, but still have not received your payment yet? You can check on the status of your payment by clicking on the link Where's My Stimulus Payment? (link no longer active). This web tool will require you to enter the following information:

  • Social Security Number
  • Filing status (Single, Married Filing Joint Return, Married Filing Separate Return, Head of Household, or Qualifying Widow)
  • Number of Exemptions shown on your 2007 tax return

Note: If you had your economic stimulus payments deposited into IRAs and other tax-favored accounts, you might be able to withdraw the money tax and penalty-free.

 

Stimulus Payments: Especially for Military Combat Personnel

Many military personnel (regular and reserve) are married to spouses who do not have a valid SSN and were previously ineligible to receive an economic stimulus payment when they were filed on a joint return. Now, many spouses, filed jointly, can receive an economic stimulus payment as long as one spouse has a valid SSN.

Combat zone compensation can be treated as earned income for the earned income tax credit.

First-time homebuyers who are veterans are exempt from the first-time homebuyer rule who use mortgage revenue bonds to purchase a residence.

Any veteran who qualifies for retroactive disability compensation is eligible for a tax refund on any taxes paid on the compensation. Refund claims are limited to the prior 3 years.

Persons called or ordered to active military duty after 12/31/2007 are exempt from the penalty for early withdrawals from retirement plans (IRAs, 401(k)s)

Rollovers from any military death gratuity to a Roth IRA or an education savings account are tax-free. This can be retroactively applied for death from injuries occurring after 10/6/2001.

Current or former members of the armed service who received bonus payments by the state are allowed to exclude them from their gross income. Anyone who paid income tax on these payments can file for a refund with the IRS.

Reservists called to active duty can have penalty-free access to unused funds from their flexible spending accounts to be used for any purpose, not just medical or child care expenses.

More tax help for military personnel.

Summer Campaign for Retirees and Disabled Veterans

In 2008, the IRS started a campaign to reach retirees and disabled veterans who qualify for the economic stimulus payment but have not filed to claim it.

The IRS has identified 5.2 million retirees and veterans' beneficiaries who might be eligible for the stimulus payments. The IRS will send a special letter that explains stimulus payment eligibility and how to claim it. The letter will include a sample tax form and an actual tax form that people can complete and mail to the IRS.

 

Does Everyone Qualify for a Tax Rebate?

No, not everyone qualifies. If you do not have any federal income tax liability for 2007 OR $3,000 in income from a combination of earned income, Social Security benefits, or veteran’s benefits you will not receive a rebate check. Also, there is a phase-out that starts at adjusted gross incomes above $75,000 ($150,000 for joint filers) that will keep some taxpayers from receiving a rebate. Nonresident aliens, those without Social Security numbers (including both spouses in the case of joint returns) and those who can be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer also won’t receive rebates.

Who Will Get a Tax Rebate and How Much?

Individuals

Most individuals who are single tax filers (including those filing as heads of household or married filing separately) will receive a maximum $600 rebate, assuming you paid at least that much in income tax for 2007. The rebate phases out for taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes over $75,000.

Most adults who file jointly will receive a maximum $1,200 rebate, assuming you paid at least that much in income tax for 2007. This rebate phases out for couples with incomes over $150,000.

Low or No-Income Individuals

If you earned at least $3,000 in income in 2007 from a job and/or self-employment, or you received at least $3,000 in Social Security and/or veteran benefits, you will be eligible for a $300 rebate or $600 with your spouse if you are married and file jointly – even if you do not owe any income tax for 2007.

You also will receive at least the minimum $300 or $600 rebate if you have at least one dollar of tax liability and gross income greater than your standard deduction plus one exemption (two exemptions if filing jointly).

If your tax liability (before counting any withholding or estimated tax payments) is between $300 and $600 as a single filer or $600 and $1,200 as a married couple filing jointly, then your rebate will be equal to the amount you paid in 2007 federal income tax.

Parents

Parents who qualify for any of the above rebates also can receive a $300 rebate for each qualifying child, which is any child who will be younger than 17 (that is, each child must be eligible for the regular child credit and must have a Social Security number). As with the basic rebate, this additional amount is subject to the overall rebate phase-out for adjusted gross income above either the $75,000 or $150,000 levels

Tax Rebate Summary:

  1. Taxpayers must file or efile a 2007 tax return.
  2. Eligibility and amount will be based on that.
  3. No other application required, no phone calls necessary.
  4. Payments to more than 130 million taxpayers will start in May 2008 and continue over several weeks.
  5. Direct deposit will apply if taxpayers selected that option on their tax returns.
  6. Eligible taxpayers who qualify for a payment will receive an additional $300 for each child who qualifies for the child tax credit.

Stimulus Payment Mailing Dates Based on SSN

Click here for Detailed Stimulus Package Information

 

Economic Stimulus Payments Withdrawal

If you had your economic stimulus payments deposited into IRAs and other tax-favored accounts you might be able to withdraw the money tax and penalty free. This option is designed to help those taxpayers who may have been unaware that, by choosing direct deposit for the entire regular tax refund, the stimulus payment was also directly deposited. If however, the taxpayer elected a split refund, the economic stimulus payments will be paid by a paper check.

This relief is available for amounts withdrawn from these tax-favored accounts that are less than or equal to a taxpayer's directly deposited stimulus payment.

In order to qualify for this relief, in most cases, funds must be taken out by April 15, 2009. Without this relief, taxes, penalties, and other special rules would apply to amounts removed from these accounts.

Eligible Tax-Favored Accounts Include:

  • Traditional and Roth IRAs
  • Health savings accounts (HSAs)
  • Archer MSAs
  • Coverdell education savings accounts (ESAs)
  • Qualified tuition programs (e.g. QTPs or 529 plans)