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Received A Notice From The IRS About the Economic Stimulus Refund Checks

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After a lot of speculation. the IRS has finally sent out an official notice that cleared up a couple of questions people were having about the economic stimulus refund checks. I was right about everything that I had wrote about the checks, but it’s always nice to be reinforced about information you read about by the people that will be sending out the checks, the IRS. If you haven’t received the notice in the mail yet, don’t freak out. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to receive a check. It just means that it takes a while for them to send out $130 million letters. Here is some information that was confirmed in their letter.

  • The checks will BEGIN to be sent out on May 1st. However, they don’t guarantee that you’ll receive the check in May. Speculation is that it will take the entire summer to get the checks to everyone.
  • The economic stimulus refund check has nothing to do with any money that you receive for your 2007 tax return. So, if you owe money for your 2007 taxes, the IRS won’t deduct the amount you owe from the refund check. This is because the refund is actually a tax credit for 2008, and has nothing to do with your 2007 taxes.
  • Even though the refund check has nothing to do with your 2007 taxes, the IRS will estimate your stimulus check payment based on your 2007 tax return. So, you MUST file a return to receive a stimulus check.
  • You will receive an extra $300 for each dependent child in your household on top of the base payment owed to you. They still did not specify how many children count, but I think it’s up to four.
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You will receive at minimum, $1200 if:

  1. You file married jointly and your earned adjusted gross income is more than $15,650 and less than $150,000. Your AGI is your taxable income after all deductions have been applied. Your AGI must be over $15,650, because your net tax liability must be more than $0. Earning more than $15,650 puts you into the lowest married filing jointly tax bracket of 10%. Anyone who earns less, has no tax liability for the year.
  2. You filed married separately, and both you and your spouse haven earned AGI of at least $7,825 and less than $75,000.

You Will Receive at minimum $600 if:

  1. You filed married jointly, but your earned AGI is more than $3,000 but less than $15,650 or you
  2. You filed married jointly, and you had social security or veteran’s income of at least $3,000.
  3. You filed married separately, and your earned AGI is more than $15,650 but less than $75,000.

You will receive at minimum $300 if:

  1. You filed as single, and your earned AGI is more than $3,000 but less than $15,650.
  2. You filed as single, and you received social security income or veteran’s income of at least $3,000.

The only people that will not receive a check are those that earned less than $3,000 earned income or less than $3,000 in social security or veteran’s income. Those that earn more than $75,000 as single filers or more than $150,000 as married jointly filers most likely won’t receive a check either, but those just over those thresholds might receive a reduced amount. No specifications have been made about that yet.

***Remember that many of you are getting confused about how much you will receive if you filed married separately. When you file married separately, you file two separate returns, one for you and one for your spouse. So, just treat the criteria like if you were single. It’s possible to earn $900 if you filed married separately and one of you qualified for the single filer $600 and one of you qualified for the single filer $300.

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.

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