The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 will provide 130 million U.S. households with some level of tax relief.
You must file a federal tax return for 2007 to be eligible for the stimulus payment. This filing requirement applies to some people who do not normally file, including many low-income households and recipients of Social Security, certain benefit recipients from the Department of Veterans Affairs and certain Railroad Retirement benefit recipients.
The actual amount depends on the information reported on your tax return. However, most working people will receive between $300 and $600 if filing single or $600 and $1,200 if married, filing jointly. The payment is not taxable and will not reduce your 2007 or 2008 refund or increase the amount you owe when you file your 2008 return.
Basic Eligibility Requirements
- You must file a 2007 tax form, i.e., Forms 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ, if you have at least $3,000 of qualifying income. The payment will be available to everyone with adjusted gross income less than $75,000 for single filers and $150,000 for married couples filing jointly.
- You also are eligible to receive an additional $300 per child. For example, this would mean up to $1,800 of tax relief for an eligible couple with two children.
- Recipients of Social Security and certain veterans' benefits are also eligible for rebates. Those who receive at least $3,000 from any combination of benefits from these programs will receive the payment. The IRS and Treasury Department will be working closely with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Social Security Administration, along with beneficiary organizations, to ensure that all eligible individuals are able to receive their payments.
In addition to filing a 2007 tax return, you, and our spouse if filing jointly, must have a valid Social Security number. Payments will not be sent to nonresident aliens, estates, trusts or people who are or could be claimed as a dependent on someone else's tax return (e.g., many high school or college students claimed on their parent’s taxes).
Low and moderate-income workers, including veterans, can get free tax help through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Call 1-800-906-9887 to locate the nearest VITA site.
The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Program provides free tax help to people age 60 and older. As part of the IRS-sponsored TCE Program, AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program at more than 7,000 sites nationwide during the filing season. To find an AARP Tax Aide site, call 1-888-227-7669 or visit the AARP Web site at www.aarp.org.
The Internal Revenue Service will begin issuing rebates in early May. The IRS recommends choosing direct deposit when you file, but paper checks are also available and will be mailed starting May 16. There is an Economic Stimulus Calculator on the IRS website, www.irs.gov, which can help you estimate the amount of your payment.
Posted on Fri, March 21, 2008
by Patrick Lane