Facts about the 2008 Stimulus Payments

Starting in May, the Treasury will begin sending economic stimulus payments to more than 130 million individuals.  The stimulus payments will go out through the late spring and summer. 

 

The vast majority of Americans who qualify for an economic stimulus payment will not have to do anything other than file their 2007 individual income tax return to receive their payment this year. They will not have to complete applications, file any extra forms or call the Internal Revenue Service to request the payment, which is automatic.  The IRS will determine eligibility, figure the amount and issue the payment.

 

Stimulus payments will be direct deposited for taxpayers selecting that option when filing their 2007 tax returns. Taxpayers who have already filed with direct deposit won't need to do anything else to receive the stimulus payment. For taxpayers who haven't filed their 2007 returns yet, the IRS reminds them that direct deposit is the fastest way to get both regular refunds and stimulus payments.

 

Basic Eligibility

 

The IRS will use the 2007 tax return to determine eligibility and calculate the basic amount of the payment.  In most cases, the payment will equal the amount of tax liability on the return with a maximum amount of $600 for individuals ($1,200 for taxpayers who file a joint return) and a minimum of $300 for individuals ($600 for taxpayers who file a joint return). 

 

Even those who have little or no tax liability may qualify for a minimum payment of $300 ($600 if filing a joint return) if their tax return reflects $3,000 or more in qualifying income.  For the purpose of the stimulus payments, qualifying income consists of earned income such as wages and net self-employment income as well as Social Security or certain Railroad Retirement benefits and . However, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) does not count as qualifying income for the stimulus payment.

 

Low-income workers who have earned income above $3,000 but do not have a regular filing requirement must file a 2007 tax return to receive the minimum stimulus payment.  Similarly, Social Security recipients, certain Railroad retirees, and those who receive the veterans

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