Economic Stimulus “Rebate” Calculator

20 Feb


Okay, so I’ve been investigating this Economic Stimulus package to find out whether I’m going to get any extra money from the government this summer. I’ve searched a lot of websites to determine whether I’m eligible to receive a check and how much they’re going to pay out. Here are a few interesting things that I learned.

First, I learned that some people are not eligible for the “stimulus payment.” According to the IRS’s website, you won’t get a stimulus payment in 2008 if any of the following apply to you:

  • You don’t file a 2007 tax return.
  • 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.
  • You file Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ, Form 1040PR or Form 1040SS for 2007.

As to the amount of the stimulus payment, it will be up to $600 for a single person, $1,200 for a married couple that files jointly and $300 for each additional kid in your household that has a Social Security number. (One website said the payment limit is two kids — or $600 — but I didn’t find that anywhere else, so who knows.)

Since this “rebate” is an advance for a new credit which will be included on the 2008 1040 income tax form, it will not affect your 2007 taxes. In April 2008 (this year for 2007’s tax settlement), you will receive what you are owed or you will have to pay what you owe as if the rebate never occurred. This summer you will receive the rebate for the 2008 credit in a separate check (or direct deposit if you choose).

In April 2009 or thereabouts, when you file your taxes for 2008, the IRS will run the calculation for the stimulus rebate credit again. If the results show that you would have received more (due to an additional child, for instance), you will be sent the difference. If your results show that you would have received a smaller rebate, then you get to keep the difference. This is an additional credit. You do not have to pay back to the IRS what you will receive this summer. Receiving this advance will not reduce next year’s refund nor will you owe more federal tax.

Click here to access a very useful calculator that helps you to see how much you’ll likely be getting. You’ll need to have a few numbers from your 2007 Tax Return to use this calculator.

For more details on the IRS’s website, click here.

In another post, I’d like to discuss what the stimulus package means for our economy, what I think about it on principle, and how I may spend (or save) any money I get from it.


Posted by on February 20, 2008 in Politics / Economy


6 responses to “Economic Stimulus “Rebate” Calculator

  1. Kim Menlove

    February 20, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    Hey Andrew! I know Lindsay through Josh and Kellie Jeppson, Marcs cousin is Josh. Kellie lived by you as well and I met Lindsay from her. They are good friends, we’ve gone to Powell with them a few times. Hope all is well. You are a master blogger! I am envious!-kim

  2. robinbl

    February 20, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    It all gives me a headache. I think we just need to remember that this money isn’t just raining down out of heaven. It may be nice to get right now, but it just means we’ll have a smaller tax refund next year.

  3. andrewalma

    February 20, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    Actually, according to the IRS’s website, it will not affect next year’s refund, contrary to what I originally was told. Here’s a quote from the FAQ page I reference above.

    Q. Will the payment I receive in 2008 reduce my 2008 refund or increase the amount I owe for 2008?

    A. No, the stimulus payment will not reduce or increase your refund when you file your 2008 return.

    So I guess that’s good news. Come on, we need to do our patriotic duty and buy a nice big screen TV!

  4. liz

    February 21, 2008 at 7:46 am

    That’s funny, because Matt said the exact same thing, even though he never watches TV! But he is kind of considering doing his “civic duty” and spending the windfall — I think I may be able to help with that….

  5. kira

    February 21, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    we were all sorts of sensible with our actual tax return. We would “have to” use our rebate for all sorts of frivolous things!

  6. Liza

    April 21, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    If you ever want to see a reader’s feedback 🙂 , I rate this post for 4/5. Decent info, but I just have to go to that damn google to find the missed parts. Thanks, anyway!


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