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Economic stimulus payments are on the way May 12, 2008

Posted by Daniel Downs in IRS, news, taxes.
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In case you are still looking for a government check to stimulate your spending, IRS says to be patient your money is on the way. I should point out to those anticipating the financial blessing from the feds on high (I dare not say on what they may be high on) that before getting to antsy call your bank to see whether the IRS has made a deposit to your account. If not or if you are waiting for a check in the mail, check out the following IRS schedule of direct deposits and check mailings:

DIRECT DEPOSIT
Last two SSN digits: Payments will be transmitted no later than:
00 through 20 May 2
21 through 75 May 9
76 through 99 May 16
 
PAPER CHECK
Last two SSN digits: Payments will be mailed no later than:
00 through 09 May 16
10 through 18 May 23
19 through 25 May 30
26 through 38 June 6
39 through 51 June 13
52 through 63 June 20
64 through 75 June 27
76 through 87 July 4
88 through 99 July 11
 

Please allow additional delivery time, perhaps 3 to 5 days, since the paper checks are being sent through the mail.

Warnings

According to the IRS, people who filed a return after April 15 will receive their economic stimulus payment, but probably later than the schedule shows. A return must be filed by October 15 in order to receive a stimulus payment this year. See the online calculator (or my post) for an estimate of the amount you will receive.

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 processed by April 15. The reason may be found in the next warning issued by the IRS.

Even more anti-stimulating is the fact that some taxpayers may receive smaller economic stimulus payments than they anticipated. By law, the stimulus payments are offset to satisfy past-due taxes, student loans, child support and certain other debts. In other words, if you owe the feds or your EX money, they are going to filch some or all of your spending spree dough to pay off your indebtedness.

There are other possible explanations for a smaller than expected amount:

  • You are single and your net income tax liability is less than $600. If you file Form 1040 and 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.

Some additional reasons for not getting your money when expected include:

The payment schedule only applies if your return was received and the IRS finished processing your return 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 should arrive a minimum of six weeks after you file.

Other factors slowing income tax return processing could be errors requiring that require you to file Form 1040X. If you moved since filing your return, the US Postal Service may have problems getting your check to you on time.

You could also visit the IRS Economic Stimulus Payments Information Center to get answers to your questions.

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