Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tax Questions: Regarding the Economic Stimulus Payment Program

I've been asked by a few people about the $600.00 tax refunds this year. Some want to know how they'll get it. Others want to know what happens if you owe back taxes. I found a few answers to the questions so I thought I'd share them with you here.


How Will I Receive My Payment?

Stimulus payments will be made by direct deposit to people who choose to receive their 2007 income tax refunds through direct deposit. All others will receive their economic stimulus payments in the form of a paper check.

What is the Payment Schedule?

Stimulus payments will be sent out in the order of the last two digits of the Social Security number used on the tax return. Because the IRS will use the Social Security number to determine when checks are mailed, taxpayers may receive their checks at different times from their neighbors or other family members. On joint returns, the first Social Security number listed will determine the mail-out time.

Taxpayers who choose direct deposit on their federal income tax returns can expect to receive their economic stimulus payments between May 2 and May 16, provided their returns were received and processed by April 15, 2008. For taxpayers who did not choose direct deposit on their tax return but whose returns were processed by April 15, the paper checks will be in the mail starting May 16, with the initial mailings completed by around July 11. The following is the schedule for economic stimulus payments related to tax returns.


Direct Deposit Payments

Last two digits of SSN: Payment:

00 - 20                                        May 2

21 - 75                                        May 9

76 - 99                                        May 16

Paper Checks

Last two digits of SSN: Payment:

00 - 09                                        May 16

10 - 18                                        May 23

19 - 25                                        May 30

26 - 38                                        June 6

39 - 51                                        June 13

52 - 63                                        June 20

64 - 75                                        June 27

76 - 87                                        July 4

88 - 99                                        Jul 11


What If I Owe Back Taxes to the IRS?

All or part of an economic stimulus payment may be applied to back taxes or certain other debts of the taxpayer, such as delinquent child support and student loans. In such cases, the IRS will send a letter to the taxpayer explaining the offset. (This means that if you get that letter each year that says they're garnishing your tax return, they'll garnish it again this year too. No, you don't get money if you owe the government more than they owe you!)

What if I File an Extension?

To accommodate tax returns processed after April 15, the IRS will continue sending weekly payments. People who file tax returns after April 15 and receive a refund can expect to receive their economic stimulus payments in about two weeks after receiving their tax refunds, but not before the date they would have received their payment if the return had been processed by April 15.

To ensure taxpayers receive their stimulus payment this year, they must file a tax return by Oct. 15.

More on Rebates and Filing Issues

The IRS link, www.irs.gov, is the source for all questions related to the rebates provided by the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008. 

Do I Have to File a Tax Return to Receive a

Yes. This is a frequently asked question and  the IRS has issued a new publication (IRS Pub. 4665, Economic Stimulus Payment Guide for Benefit Recipients) to answer your specific questions. The guide is for persons who receive Social Security, railroad retirement, or certain veterans’ benefits who are not otherwise required to file a federal income tax return, but must file a return for the IRS to determine their eligibility for an economic stimulus payment.

How Much Will My Rebate Be?

Would you like to know your projected rebate dollars?  The IRS has provided an online calculator called the Economic Stimulus Payment Calculator that will allow you to answer a series of questions that will reveal your projected rebate value.  In order to process your information, you will need your 2007 tax return.  After answering the questions, the calculator will provide the projected dollar value of your payment.


  1. How many people are going to use this to pay past due bills, and how many are going to use it for wants?

    Who is going to put it aside for gas?

  2. For real!
    I'm thinking bills/gas. I think April is thinking Vacation.. lol. I'll probably lose that one!


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