Stimulus Package Refund Check
Last Updated: May 12, 2010
The checks are already going out! If you filed your tax return electronically, you will get preference and also get it direct-deposited into your checking account if you chose that option. If you just (snail) mailed in your return, you will be receiving your check at the back of the line.
Stimulus Package: How Much Money Will You Get?
Most of us need no urging from the government to spend money, but the U.S. government feels that Americans are not spending enough of it right now. It is axiomatic that consumer spending is one of the most dynamic drivers of the U.S. economy. With the economic indexes showing lagging retail and other consumer spending, the House Finance Committee economic stimulus package is welcome news in most financial quarters.
In spite of protests from some quarters about the high costs associated with a government "giveaway," the number one question for many people is "How much will we get?" Here's the short answer:
- $600 if you're an individual filer of income tax.
- $1200 if you're married and filing jointly.
- An additional $300 per child under age 17.
Those are not insignificant amounts except to those individuals with income wildly exceeding the top limits set by Congress. The issue of income limits must be considered in order to determine whether a person will receive a stimulus payment. The economic stimulus package recently passed by both houses of Congress has the following income limits:
- For a single individual, the income cutoff level is $75,000.
- For a married couple filing jointly, the cutoff is double that: $150,000.
People who earn in excess of those amounts may receive reduced stimulus rebates according to a sliding scale which cuts the rebate $50 for every $1000 they receive in income over the established top income limits.
A bone of contention among people who took issue with the bi-partisan stimulus package is that the bill provides rebates to low-income citizens who pay no taxes at all. How can the government "rebate", they wonder, if there was no money paid in taxes in the first place?
In fact, the stimulus bill is designed to invigorate the economy through consumer spending. It has no basis in political rationale. Government figures show that the nation's poor and middle class are more inclined to spend the stimulus money than the wealthy. Most economists agree that stimulating the economy in this way, combined with interest rate cuts, will provide a short-term boost to the economy.
There are some things to keep in mind in filing taxes for the 2007 tax year:
- You must file your federal taxes for the year 2007 in order to be eligible for any kind of stimulus payment.
- You must file your IRS taxes even if your only income comes from social security, veteran's disability benefits, or of any other type that the IRS terms unearned income. Your 2007 tax record is the only available record upon which the payments can be based.
- The income top limits will be based on the tax filer's adjusted gross income (AGI).
Taxpayers will begin receiving the congressional economic stimulus payments in May after the regular income tax season ends. The IRS is currently planning a schedule of payments which will be announced when complete. U.S. taxpayers must now demonstrate their patriotism by planning a spending spree.