Today when I opened my mailbox, I found a notice from the IRS about the “economic stimulus act of 2008.” I wrote about this back in January, but Congress apparently made it happen in time for this tax season.
There’s plenty of confusing language in the one-page letter, and lots of provisions that don’t fit quite so neatly into their “How to Determine Your Stimulus Payment” chart, but basically it breaks down like this:
- If you made less than $75,000 in 2007 and you owe income tax (i.e. you’re not expecting a refund), your “stimulus payment” is $600.
- If you made between $3,000 and $74,999.99 and you are expecting a refund, your payment is $300.
- If you made less than $3,000 and you are expecting a tax refund, you do not get a payment.
The one thing to watch out for when you do your taxes this year is a calculated refund of less than $300. If that’s the case, remove enough deductions so that you end up owing the IRS a few dollars. That way, you’ll get the $600 payment rather than the $300 payment and come out on top overall.
For more specific info like payments for children, reduced payments for higher income taxpayers and what counts as “qualifying income,” you can visit the IRS’s Economic Stimulus Payments Information Center.