Monday, October 6, 2008

Did you get your Stimulus Check?

The meltdown in the economy may be overshadowing a long forgotten effort to prop up the economy, the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008. There are still an estimated 4.3 Million people who qualify for the payment, but haven't filed yet. It's not too late, Oct 15 is the deadline to file a tax return in order to receive your stimulus payment. Many retirees who typically don't file tax returns are eligible for this payment. To get your payment you must file an IRS form 1040 or 1040A. You may also file electronically online for free.
There is much confusion as to who does qualify. Here are the rules from the Web site:
  • You or your family has at least $3,000 in qualifying income from, or in combination with, Social Security benefits, Veterans Affairs benefits, Railroad Retirement benefits and earned income. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) does not count as qualifying income for the stimulus payment.
  • You and any family members listed on your tax return have valid Social Security numbers.
  • You are not a dependent or eligible to be a dependent on someone else’s federal tax return. (The same must be true of any family members claimed on your return.)
Others have filed a return but either haven't received their check yet or did not receive the expected amount. If you have questions you should contact the IRS now in case you need to file additional documentation before the deadline. If you have questions call the special IRS rebate hotline 866-234-2942 or visit

Business owners did you know benefits were included in the Stimulus Act for you? There are 2 little known benefits included. According to the IRS publication FS-2008-21 "The first provision increases the limit up to which a business can expense property purchased and placed in service during its 2008 tax year. The second provision provides an additional 50% special depreciation allowance for property acquired and placed in service during calendar year 2008. ... The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that businesses stand to lower their 2008 tax bills by roughly $45 billion as a result of the two business provisions in the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008; these provisions accelerate into 2008 the tax benefits that otherwise would not have been available until future years." The rules are complex so consult with your tax professional for details. In these difficult times it is important to not let these benefits slip by.

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