The official title from the IRS is the Economic Stimulus Payment, but most people still call it the Tax Rebate Check and it’s going out to over 130 million US households beginning in May.
3 Simple Requirements
You must have a social security number, an ITIN (individual taxpayer identification number) will not work.
You must have at least $3,000 in qualified income. For your ESp (Economic Stimulus Payment) Social Security Payments, some veterans Benefits, and Railroad Retirement payments count towards the $3,000.
You must file a 2007 Tax Return. This means that many people who would not otherwise file a tax return, because there income is too low, or is not taxable, like Social Security Benefits, should file a tax return this year. This last point is very important. If you think you are not getting a Tax Rebate Check because you are not required to file a tax return, you are wrong! As long as you have at least $3,000 in qualified income you will get a check as long as you file a tax return. If you don’t normally file a return, you should be able to file the short form 1040A which is not too complicated and most can manage on their own.
File a return, even if you are not sure you qualify. If you don’t owe anything it doesn’t hurt to file a return. If it turns out you don’t qualify, you simply won’t get a check. Don’t worry. Filing a return this year doesn’t make the IRS “expect” a return next year.
How Much Will You Get?
If you qualify you will get at least $300 and no more than $600 per person. The exact amount depends on the information on your tax return. Higher income taxpayers will have their ESP reduced or even eliminated. With phaseouts beginning at AGI’s $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for married couples.
There is always someone wanting to take advantage. Here is a warning put out by the IRS.
If someone claiming to be from the IRS calls or e-mails you about the payments and asks you for a Social Security, bank account or credit card number, it’s a scam. The scammers are trying to get your personal and financial information so they can empty your bank account, run up charges on your credit card and more. Find out more — see IR-2008-11, IRS Warns of New E-Mail and Telephone Scams Using the IRS Name; Advance Payment Scams Starting.
If you have any questions you can leave a comment with the question, or you can visit the IRS Economic Stimulus Payment website.