IRS Information on Stimulus Payments

May 8, 2008 by  


IRS Has Answers to Questions People Are Asking About Economic Stimulus Payments (ESP)
Urges People to Visit IRS.gov

May 7, 2008

DETROIT — As many Michiganians begin receiving their economic stimulus payments, the Internal Revenue Service released a list of the most-frequently-asked questions –– and answers –– that people now are asking.

“Just about every question about the stimulus payments is answered on the IRS.gov web site,” IRS Spokesperson Luis D. Garcia said. “The stimulus payments are automatic for eligible taxpayers who filed a 2007 tax return, people don’t have to do anything other than wait to receive the payment.”

Stimulus payments started going out last week, and the initial round of payments will continue on a weekly basis through mid-July. In all, nearly 130 million payments will go out this year. Last week, 7.7 million payments were direct deposited, and the first mass production of paper checks begins Thursday.

Since last week millions of Americans have visited IRS.gov and called the IRS toll-free lines. The IRS reminds taxpayers the fastest way to get answers is to visit IRS.gov, which has payment schedules and other information.

Since the payments began, the IRS has been fielding a variety of questions centered on the payment schedule, factors affecting direct deposit of payments, eligibility requirements and questions about the payment amounts. The IRS today released an updated set of Frequently Asked Questions covering everything from when someone can expect the payment to whether it will be delivered electronically or on paper. The Frequently Asked Questions are listed at the end of this document.

The most common question has been when people can expect their payments. Economic stimulus payments will be issued according to the last two-digits of the taxpayer’s Social Security number. For joint filers the payments will go out based on the last two digits of the Social Security number of the person listed first on the return. Payments will be made by either direct deposit or paper check, based generally on the option people chose when they filed their 2007 tax returns.

The payment schedule below is for people who filed early enough to have their tax returns processed by April 15.

Direct Deposit Payments For Returns Processed by April 15

SSN ending 00 – 20; Stimulus should be received by May 2
SSN ending 21 – 75; Stimulus should be received by May 9
SSN ending 76 – 99; Stimulus should be received by May 16

Paper Checks For Returns Processed by April 15

SSN ending 00 – 09; Stimulus should be received by May 16
SSN ending 10 – 18; Stimulus should be received by May 23
SSN ending 19 – 25; Stimulus should be received by May 30
SSN ending 26 – 38; Stimulus should be received by June 6
SSN ending 39 – 51; Stimulus should be received by June 13
SSN ending 52 – 63; Stimulus should be received by June 20
SSN ending 64 – 75; Stimulus should be received by June 27
SSN ending 76 – 87; Stimulus should be received by July 4
SSN ending 88 – 99; Stimulus should be received by July 11

The payment schedule is a general guideline and several factors could affect payment timing. For instance, some paper returns filed but not processed by April 15 could result in payments later than the scheduled date. In addition, a small percentage of tax returns will require additional time to process and to compute a stimulus payment amount. For these returns, stimulus payments may not be issued in accordance with the schedule above, even if the tax return was filed by April 15. Finally, taxpayers who file after April 15 will get a stimulus payment after their tax return is processed.

The most common questions and answers are part of an extensive listing of FAQs that address various aspects of the economic stimulus program. Other economic stimulus information is also on IRS.gov.

Most Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Stimulus Payments

Q. I filed after April 15 and the payment date for my Social Security number has passed. How long will it take for me to get my stimulus payment?

A. It will generally take a minimum of six weeks after you file your return to get your stimulus payment.

Q. I filed my return on time, but I haven’t received my stimulus payment, even though the payment date listed for my Social Security number has passed. Why?

A. In general, the payment schedule only applies if your return was received and the IRS finished processing it before April 15. If you filed your return on time, but close to the April 15 deadline, the IRS may not have finished processing it before April 15. Processing times for tax returns and stimulus payments vary. If you are getting a regular income-tax refund, the IRS will send you that refund first. Normally, your stimulus payment will follow one to two weeks later. If you are not expecting a regular tax refund, your stimulus payment generally should arrive a minimum of six weeks after you file.

Also, if you chose direct deposit and requested a Refund Anticipation Loan (RAL) or had your refund deposited into more than one account, you will receive a paper check based on the distribution schedule for paper checks.

Q. I chose direct deposit for my 2007 tax refund but also requested a refund anticipation loan (RAL) from my preparer. How does that affect my stimulus payment?

A. Taxpayers who use Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs) or enter into any other loans or financial agreements with a tax professional, such as agreeing to have return preparation fees deducted from their refunds, cannot receive their stimulus payments by direct deposit and instead will get paper checks based on the paper check distribution schedule.

Q. Will the IRS allow me to provide it with direct deposit information, if I didn’t include that information on my original tax return?

A. You cannot correct direct deposit information or request a direct deposit after a return has been filed.

Q. I received my stimulus payment, but it was less than what my friends and neighbors received. Why?

A. Your economic stimulus payment is based on information provided on your 2007 income tax return.
Many but not all taxpayers qualify for the maximum basic payment of $600 for singles or $1,200 for married couples. Many parents are also receiving an additional $300 for each qualifying child, born after Dec. 31, 1990.

Your payment may be less than the maximum for one or more of the following reasons:

# You are single and your net income tax liability is less than $600. If you file Form 1040 net income tax liability is the amount shown on Line 57, plus the amount on Line 52.
# You are married and your net income tax liability is less than $1,200.
# You are single and your adjusted gross income (AGI) is more than $75,000. On Form 1040, AGI is the amount on Line 37.
# You are married filing a joint return and your AGI is more than $150,000.
# You owe back taxes that reduced your payment.
# You have non-tax federal debts such as unpaid student loans or child-support obligations that reduced your payment.

Around the time you receive your payment, you will also receive a notice from the IRS explaining how your payment was calculated. It is important to keep this notice as a record of your economic stimulus payment. In addition, you’ll get a separate notice if you owe back taxes or non-tax debts that were offset or deducted from your stimulus payment.

Q. I have moved since filing my 2007 tax return. How will my payment reach me?

A. You should file a Form 8822 with the IRS and a change of address notice with the U.S. Postal Service. This will ensure your check is sent to your new address. Without your current address, the check could be returned to the IRS as undeliverable.

Q. I chose direct deposit for my 2007 tax refund but also requested my electronic filing and/or tax preparation fees be deducted from my refund. Does that affect my stimulus payment?

A. If you requested that your electronic filing or tax preparation fee be deducted from the amount of your refund, you have entered into a financial agreement with the tax preparation provider or e-file software company for a refund anticipated check (RAC). Both Refund Anticipation Checks (RACs) and Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs) are bank products. The money that is deposited into your bank account comes from the financial institution associated with your electronic filing software provider or tax preparation provider, not directly from the IRS. Taxpayers who use RALs, RACs or enter into similar loans or financial agreements with their tax professional or tax software companies will not receive their economic stimulus payments by direct deposit. Instead they will get a paper check that will be issued according to the schedule that has been published for paper check distribution.

Q. I chose to have my tax refund deposited onto a “stored value card” or debit card through the professional tax preparer I used. Will my stimulus payment be directly deposited onto that same stored value card or debit card account?

A. Yes, unless you requested a refund anticipation loan (RAL) through your tax professional or the stored value card or debit card account has been closed, in which case you will receive your economic stimulus payment by paper check. Because the IRS must wait until the money is returned, this process may take several weeks.

Q: I normally don’t need to file a tax return. How do I know if I’m one of those people who may be eligible to receive an economic stimulus payment?

A: This group includes some recipients of Social Security, Railroad Retirement or veterans’ benefits as well as taxpayers who do not make enough money to normally have to file a 2007 tax return. For example, this can include low-income workers, those who receive Social Security benefits or those who receive veterans’ disability compensation, pension or survivors’ benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. These people will be eligible to receive a payment of $300 ($600 on a joint return), if they had at least $3,000 of qualifying income.Qualifying income includes Social Security benefits, certain Railroad Retirement benefits, certain veterans’ benefits and earned income, such as income from wages, salaries, tips and self-employment. For people filing joint tax returns, only a total of $3,000 of qualifying income from both spouses is required to be eligible for a payment

Luis D. Garcia
IRS Media Relations

There’s only one IRS online. www.irs.gov

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