About · Press · Contact · Write For Us · Top Personal Finance Blogs
Featured In:

I Received The Incorrect Amount For My Stimulus Payment

By Erik Folgate

My last two social security digits are 53. So, according to the payment schedule, I was supposed to receive the stimulus payment this morning. Although, with all of the comments on this site from people who didn’t receive it last Friday, I was not counting on anything. So, I logged into my checking account this morning, and to my surprise, there was a direct deposit from the U.S department of the Treasury. I thought, “wow, I was one of the lucky ones to get my payment as advertised.”

However, there is more to the story. I looked at the amount that was deposited and it was $600.00. I thought to myself, “I’ve researched this stimulus payment thing since day one, and I know that we were supposed to receive $1,200.” My wife and I filed jointly on our 1040 return. She is a student, and I brought in most of the income for 2007, but according to all of the literature that the IRS gave out, if you filed jointly and you made between a certain amount of money for 2007, you’ll receive the $1,200 as long as you “filed jointly” on your return. I’m thoroughly confused now. I’m definitely not complaining, because at least I received something and it was on time. However, the $1,200 that we were entitled to would have been nice.

This is where it gets really funny. I go on the IRS website and I answer all of the detailed questions on their payment calculator form, and even that says that I should receive $1,200. I call the IRS toll-free number, which is 1-800-829-1040 or 1-866-239-2942, and a recording says to me, “We’re sorry, due to unusually high call volume, we cannot take your call at this time”. Seriously? Only the IRS will hang up on you when they get busy.

My wife’s last two digits are 47, so if $600 was coming separately, they both would have been scheduled for today. The only other thing that I can think of is that I put on our return that she is a full-time student. So maybe you can only receive the $1,200 if both spouses contributed to the household income, but that is not how I understood the information when it first came out. Oh well, I’ll keep you all updated on what happens. But, don’t bother trying to get a hold of the IRS for questions right now. I would wait to the middle of next week when call volumes will be lower.

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

Related Articles

  • Annie

    This happened to my husband and me, too. We filed jointly, and we both made over $3000 in 2007, and my husband filled out the calculator on the IRS’s web site, and it said we’d get $1200. My husband had our returns direct deposited into his account, and we were expecting $1200 to show up today, but only $600 is there.
    Is there a mistake? I’m going to call the IRS about it. Yes, $600 is nice, but we really thought we were getting $1200.

  • sclark

    I think the problem is that your wife had to had make atleast 3,000 in income to received the stimulus payment.

  • http://www.debtfree-revolution.com Debt Free Revolution

    This is odd! Hubby’s last two of his SSN is 55, and we only got $600 as well. If this is a glitch, I wonder when/if it will be corrected? I am also a (part-time) college student, but my last two of SSN are 91.

  • Gina

    My sister was supposed to receive $900. $600 for her and $300 for her child. She received $300. She also made over $3000. My husband and I should get $1500 and haven’t seen a dime.

  • bella

    i was to get my money on the 2nd of may but i won’t get it until the 16th. and i will not get the full amount head of house with 1 child..they get you anyway they can. due to the amount of refund from incom they adjusted it to a lower amount.

  • Andrea

    I also only recieved $300, and I’m a single mom. Even though I should get $900, I didn’t even get the minimum amount plus the $300 for my dependent child (=600). What’s going on?

  • Dianna

    The above has happened to us also. We filed married jointly plus we have a child. I check our account last night and it was $900 dollars. Of course I’m happy to get that amount but thought as the others that we was getting 1500 for all of us. I’m confused.

  • Lisa

    Hey there! We meet all teh requirements to recieve $1,200 as a married couple filing jointly adn have 2 young children , which should have qualified for another $600. We only got $1200. Maybe the children portions will come later? Both of our ssan have already been processed according to the schedule.

  • verena

    I too think I may have encountered a problem. I am single, but thought i was getting $600 and only got $300. However, a friend of mine who also is single and in the same line of work, received $600. I don’t understand. I thought singles were getting 300 and marrieds 1200. Why does it have to be so complicated? I guess I too will wait to contact the IRS.

  • verena

    oop, i meant that i thought singles were getting 600 and marrieds 1200

  • Brenda

    In order for married filing joint to get the $1200 both spouses had to work. If only 1 works its says its 600.

  • Eric

    I also received $1200 on May 2nd when we were supposed to get $2100, but here’s a twist. I just checked my account and I have received another $2100 for a total of $3300! I’ve also tried to call the IRS about it but can’t get through. This problem isn’t a menu item in their automated list of questions, either.
    Has anyone else received a “double dip of stimulation”?

  • Kevin

    Just checked and got the same thing…$900, yet I’m married, filing jointly and we have a child. I called the IRS and had the same issue of being hung up on after minutes on hold…”technical issues”. Please someone let us know whats going on with all this confusion.

  • bret

    My wife and I were suppose to get the full $1,200, plus $600 for our two children. Our AGI was less than the $150k cap, yet the deposit we received last week was $1,380.34. I can’t figure that out at all. And since we received our tax refund last month, I know it isn’t our tax refund.

  • Martha

    My problem is really wierd. We filed jointly,both of us made over $3000 (I receive S.S.disability) and expected a deposit of $1200. We got $753.00! What’s up with that? Anyone have a guess? I don’t even want to try the IRS phone number.

  • dreavill

    Min earned income: $3000 ~ Married $1200, Single $600, each “child” $300

    These numbers are the max amount you are elig for. It depends on how much tax you paid in, ie, Line that says “Total Tax Due”

    Married Filing Joint, 2 kids, Max $1800 – “Total Tax Due”- $2462 should get $1800.

    Married Filing Joint, 2 Kids, Max $1800 – “Total Tax Due” – $863 should get $863.

  • Ashley

    I was scheduled to receive my refund on the 16th. It was deposited today. I was supposed to receive $600. I only received $373. To the very best of my knowledge, I do not owe back taxes or any other debt like default federal student loans. I meant the other requirements for receiving the single-file $600 refund. Yet I’m missing $223 of it.

    Being that the lines are so busy and the above comments, I’m thinking something got screwed up. And if it’s that widespread and varied, I don’t know how they will fix it.

    The frustrating part is not being able to get answers.

  • sbenvie

    Me and my husband were suppose to get 1800, and were only getting 1200. Our eligibility was suppose to be 1800, we both made well over 3000, so i’m confused

  • Melinda

    Okay, see, I know i will be getting our stimulus rebate by check…however, i checked the stimulus rebate schedule on the irs website and put in my husbands ssn and all of our info that was needed, which wasn’t much, but i opened it up and it said

    “Your total Stimulus payment was calculated as $1,200.00 and consists of the following:

    Basic Amount: $600.00.
    Qualifying Child Amount: $600.00 (Based on 2 qualifying children).”

    That’s so weird…He and I both worked…Both made over 3000, but together we made less than 50, 000. Roughly, we both brought in about 25 grand each.

    Well, I decided to check my ssn on the irs thingy and it said

    “Your total Stimulus payment was calculated as $1,200.00 and consists of the following:

    Basic Amount: $600.00.
    Qualifying Child Amount: $600.00 (Based on 2 qualifying children).”

    The same exact thing

    That is going to make me so upset if we are getting “jipped” 600$…because we’re married, filed jointly…and have 2 qualifying kids. This doesn’t make sense…

    I’m so confused…Eric, do you think the same thing is happening to us, too?

    *confused*

  • Simin

    Single mom of 1 child here and nothing more than $300 when I was expecting $900. After doing some research, it is obvious that there is a glitch in the system. Just wondering when it will ever be resolved.

  • Teresa

    I also was supposed to get the full $1800.00 but when direct deposit came this morning it was for $1,573.00. I don’t know where or why they would take $277.00. I do not owe back taxes and received my refund via turbo tax in March

  • author

    Teresa, check line 57 of your 1040 form. If that number is less than $1,800, then you probably received a prorated amount. The IRS never told anyone that if you paid less tax than the amount you were supposed to receive for the tax refund, then you would not receive the total amount you were entitled to.

  • Kaye

    My husband and I filed jointly with one dependent and only received $600, instead of the $1500 that was shown on the IRS website calculator. I tried contacting the IRS, but cannot get through. How are we supposed to get this resolved, and get what is due to us?

  • sdmelvin

    I was told that CNN aired that there was a mistake and children were not calculated in and that it will be July before we get the rest of the amount due to us.

  • Anita

    Single mom of 1 child here and nothing more than $600 when I was expecting $900. What’s the problem???

  • Heather

    Help! I recieved a $900.00 refund on May 15th. Well, I am a single mother who has 2 children…both of which I filed for when I did my taxes at H & R Block. Who do I contact to find out where the credit for my second child went to? The IRS or my tax preparer?

  • tellie

    the list of people go on I am a single mother of two and made over the 3000 in “qualifying income” and should have gotten 1200 and only got 900. I dont understand?

  • author

    http://www.consumerismcommentary.com/2008/05/16/if-you-had-filing-fees-deducted-from-your-tax-refund-you-will-receive-a-paper-check-rebate/

    check this link. This may explain some of the reasons why you all have not received the stimulus payment by direct deposit.

  • author

    Everyone, please remember to check line 57 of your 1040 form. If that number is LESS than the estimated payment spit out from the stimulus payment calculator, then you will not receive the full amount. So let’s say that you were supposed to receive $900 ($600 for you and $300 for your child), but line 57 is less than $600, then your refund is dropped to $300 and your child’s is $300, so you get $600.

    The IRS did not reveal this little tidbit of information that the net tax liability affects what you will receive. This is what they explained to me when I received my letter.

  • Billy

    I was expecting $2100, but only received $1500. Yes I feel (g)jipped…My tax liablility was $0 on 2007 return. So, one more reason to be angry with the government, and specifically frustrated with the IRS. The question remains, is it possible for us to see that extra $600 appear next year as part of a rebate/refund on our 2009 returns? I say if we express our disappointment collectively then maybe it’s possible. Good luck!

  • Monica

    I recieved 1500, married filed jointly, 3 kids, income of 60k inquired to IRS.gov calculator said same thing. I filed additional child tax credit which is in a separate form but I checked line 57 and its 0. I talked to my co workers whose income is 165k she got 2100 filed jointly, 3kids and have the same form as me. What is wrong?

  • author2

    Same thing happened to me. I thought I would get $900 but only go $600. When I checked line 57 and it was less then $600, that explained why I didn’t get the maximum amount. I only got $300 for myself and $300 for my child.

    Let me further say that I am 23, a single mother, current college student, full time employed, homeowner….but my economic hardships are less just because I didn’t owe $600 in taxes this year??? Doesn’t make sense to me! I guess my payment of $600 is better than nothing.

  • sam

    My husband and I should have gotten 1200 on May 9th and we still have not gotten anything! My son was supposed to get his on May 9th and he has not gotten anything either. We all qualify for direct deposit but still nothing and today is May 20th. My cousin should have gotten 1200 for married couple plus 600 for 2 kids and she only got 700.? How they came up with that figure who knows. It sounds like the IRS is stressed out and processing too many errors now. So if we get anything at all, I’ll be shocked!!! If you did get something then be thankful because your lucky to get anything at all.

  • eulainia

    i only got 900 when i was thinking that i was going to get 1200. my sister told me that mistakes were made on stimulus checks and we were going to get the rest later

  • Kelli

    FYI:

    Monday, 5/19/08 UPDATE: IRS admits to some goof-ups

    It was inevitable! With the IRS sending out tens of millions of rebate stimulus checks…. we were bound to start hearing of some goof-ups. Now the IRS admits that yes, it’s made a few mistakes.

    The agency now admits that 350 thousand taxpayers have been shortchanged by $300….because the IRS failed to include their child’s rebate. The IRS says it knows who was shortchanged, is working on fixing the error, and claims you do not need to call.

    In addition, the IRS admitted last week that 15,000 rebates went into the wrong bank account. It is pulling out those incorrect rebates and sending them to the proper account.

    If you receive a rebate that appears to be too large, or you receive a double rebate, do not spend the money. The IRS will be pulling the money back out of your account.

    If you want to speak to someone about these errors, call the IRS at 800-829-1040. However, it can take some time to get through.

  • Anonymous

    I also encountered a problem with the stimulus payment. I was short changed $600. I thought that they didn’t count our 2 children, as was the case with several other people I have talked too. I received the IRS letter about a week letter and it detailed the payment. I recieved $600 for myself and $600 for my 2 children. I did not receive the other $600 for my wife who met all criteria for the $600 payment. Anyone else run into this issue? How do we get this corrected?

  • Cassandra

    I just received a letter from the IRS today stating I am only qualified to receive 600.00 for myself and my child, I thought I was suppose to receive 900.00? When I went on their website I entered the information they needed to see what I would be eligible for and that also said 900.00. I know they shorthanded quite a few (thousands) people 300.00 on their dependents but did they also shorthand many eligible taxpayers 300.00? When this was announced the beginning of the year they basically said an individual making more then 3000.00 a yr would receive 600.00. Why do they always find a way to screw the people who need it the most????

  • Melinda

    Ya know, I guess you can add me to the list, too.

    My husband and I recieved our rebate check today. $1200. Seems ok, right? The thing is…we have 2 children. On the letter and everything and even on the IRS website it says “basic amount 600$ … 2 qualifying children x 300$ = 600$ …. well, we filed “married filing jointly” … so where is my 600$???? Everything is fine on my tax information…we do not owe the government or anything…

    After i typed in my husbands SSN and info …. because he is primary on our taxes, i decided to type in mine, too… well, my info said the same exact thing.

    Weird eh?

  • Anonymous

    I work for a bank which name i cannot say …and, we have gotten a notice from the IRS that they messed up on lots & lots of stimulus payments…Some people getting more than they were supposed to get and alot of people getting less than they were quoted and all we can do is refer them to the IRS….So yes there was a mistake with the IRS.

  • ElderCareWorker

    I work in an elderly housing building in Boston. A resident came to me with her stimulus check today and although elderly receiving Social Security are supposed to receive $300 she only received $30. And yes, the IRS hung up on me, saying that call volume was too high. Lame.

  • Tanya

    We recieved a letter today saying our check would come out by May 30th. And we will receive 1500, we thought it was 2100. We are married filing jointly only him working an he earned 27560 for 2007 with 3 children. Line 57 on my 1040 says 0. Tried calling IRS today an was told they had high call volums so apparently there just not taking calls period. Can some one email me whos familiar with all this an tell me if what they have done is right or if theres a problem with mine. Email is [email protected]

  • Tanya

    Oh yeah our tax child credit was 2372 if that matters any.

  • May

    I think that many of you are actually getting the correct amount. If you are single, the max you will get is either $300 or whatever your tax liability (before child tax credit) was when you filed your taxes. So, if your tax liability was $295 (anything less than $300), you will get the $300. But if your tax liability was, let’s say $350, you will get $350. However I think they cut it off at $600 for individuals. The same concept goes for married couples, filing jointly. You will only get $600 if you made over $3000, filed taxes, and had a tax liability of less than $600 (before child tax credit). If your tax liability was more than $600, you will get whatever that amount was. You won’t get the full $1200 unless you had a tax liability of $1200 or more.

    My dad has 6 qualifying children, but he only received the rebate for 3. I’ve tried contacting the IRS about this, but of course, there’s always a high volume of calls so I can never get through.

  • http://www.sleuthster.com Cindi

    I think it is diplorable that there are so many people out there who did not receive the correct amount of their stimulus refund.

    We also did not receive the correct amount (received $900 instead of $1200). It just makes me sick that they treat us like puppets and the government makes a big deal that they are giving us this money and then they stick it to us again.

    Hey..Apparently there is a problem. So..if you are out there lurking IRS people can you please just fix it!

  • Eileen

    well i guess im in the same situation i got my stimulus today am single with 1 qualifing child but i got $600 (something is better then nothing) but the calculator in irs.gov said $900 i made more then 3000 less then 75,000 my friend made less then me and he got $600 and he dosent have kids! i dont get it i try calling 2 dif numbers but couldnt get to an operator i couldnt even press 0!

The content on MoneyCrashers.com is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional financial advice. Should you need such advice, consult a licensed financial or tax advisor. References to products, offers, and rates from third party sites often change. While we do our best to keep these updated, numbers stated on this site may differ from actual numbers. We may have financial relationships with some of the companies mentioned on this website. Among other things, we may receive free products, services, and/or monetary compensation in exchange for featured placement of sponsored products or services. We strive to write accurate and genuine reviews and articles, and all views and opinions expressed are solely those of the authors.

Advertiser Disclosure: The credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which MoneyCrashers.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they appear on category pages. MoneyCrashers.com does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers, although best efforts are made to include a comprehensive list of offers regardless of compensation. Advertiser partners include American Express, U.S. Bank, and Barclaycard, among others.
Close