Stimulus Rebate Information

"It's not too late to file," Sen. Sanders said recently about the thousands of Vermont veterans and retirees who have yet to file a tax return and thus have not yet received a stimulus payment.

You Must File a Tax Return to Receive a Rebate (By October 15) [top]

Anyone eligible for a stimulus rebate should file a tax return, including many people who otherwise would not be required to file. Filers have until October 15 to file this form.

Many individuals who would not normally file tax returns should file this year in order to receive a stimulus payment, these people include many low-wage workers, Social Security recipients, certain Railroad retirees, and many recipients of veterans' benefits. These filers must file a 2007 return in order to notify the IRS of their qualifying income. They must fill out only their basic contact information, benefits received through Social Security, veterans benefits, etc., and the IRS suggests writing "Stimulus Payment" on the top. You can view an example form and instructions here.

Acting IRS Commissioner Linda Stiff said, "If you are eligible for a payment, all you have to do is file a 2007 tax return and the IRS will do the rest."

Call 1-800-906-9887 to locate the nearest Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program site. If you have low to moderate income or you're a veteran, you can get free tax help there.

Call 1-888-227-7669 or go to www.aarp.org/money/taxaide for more information on the Tax Counseling for the Elderly program.

Rebate Basics [top]

All eligible taxpayers will receive a minimum rebate of $300 ($600 for joint filers).

Based on tax liability, there will be a maximum rebate of $600 ($1200 for joint filers)

Families may receive an extra $300 per child for children under 17 who meet certain relationship, residency, and support tests

You can read more about basic eligibility on the Internal Revenue Service Web site by clicking here.

When to Expect Your Rebate [top]

To view the IRS's repayment schedule click here.
The checks began arriving in late April of 2008. They will continue to go out through the late spring and summer, according to the IRS. The IRS encourages filers to use the direct deposit option to more quickly receive both regular refunds and stimulus payments.

Stimulus Rebates are NOT Advances on Next Year's Refunds [top]

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, which crafted the law, wrote: "Please be aware that there have been erroneous reports that stimulus rebate checks are an advance on next year's tax refund, so that any refund a taxpayer might normally receive would be reduced by the amount of the 2007 stimulus check. This is not correct. The economic stimulus bill creates an additional tax credit for 2008 that decreases eligible Americans' 2008 tax liability by the amount of the rebate check - and that money is being advanced to tax filers this year. Please disregard any materials or reports indicating otherwise."

If You Already Filed Your Tax Return [top]

The IRS says: "Taxpayers who have already filed with direct deposit won't need to do anything else to receive the stimulus payment."

To read further analysis of the stimulus plan, click here.

In order to qualify, you must report at least $3,000 in qualified income, which includes social security benefits, wages earned, certain benefits paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs, but not supplemental security income.

You can read more about basic eligibility on the Internal Revenue Service Web site by clicking here or, for an IRS flyer for senior citizens, click here.