The IRS is so lovely.  In what other county can you get “free money” from the government to spend any way you want?  Oh, I feel a song coming on…

“And I’m proud to be an American, where at least the cash is free,

and I won’t forget what the government did so I can spend more funds on me,

and I proudly stand up and wave to you the receipt of my new TV,

I’m proud to be an American and stimulatin’ the economy!”

Sorry – I got a little patriotic there.  Anyway, I wanted to assist some of our readers about some of the basics of the IRS stimulus payment.  It’s going out soon, so you’ll want to run to your mailbox every day to see when it arrives.

1  If you checked the “direct deposit” box for the refund from your 2007 tax return (even if you weren’t due a refund), then your stimulus check will be deposited in to the same bank and account you listed then.

2  To get the payment, you have to have earned income of at least $3,000 (basically, there is a little more to it than that) OR at least some kind of tax liability, a valid SSN# and you can’t be claimed by someone else on their 2007 return.

3  If you have NO tax liability but still have some kind of earned income (again, of at least $3,000), then you’ll only get the BASIC payment, which is $300 for a single person and $600 for a married filing joint couple.  On top of this, they’ll add $300 per qualifying child that you are including on your return (but the kiddo must be under 17 years of age as of 12/31/07).

4  You have to have filed your 2007 return already in order to get your payment this early.  And if you extended your return to October 15th, then the IRS still estimates that you’ll get the stimulus payment before the end of the year.  The sooner you file the quicker you’ll get your big screen TV, I mean, stimulus payment.

5  If you don’t file a 2007 return (because you don’t have to), then you won’t get the check.  File the return, get the check.  No return, no check.

6  If you are single and your income is higher than $75k a year, then your stimulus payment will begin phasing out.  If you are filing married filing joint for 2007, then your stimulus payment begins to phase out at $150k.  The stimulus payment is phased out starting with 5% of everything over the threshold income amount.

7  Wondering if you get the stimulus payment?  Ask the all-seeing all-knowing Economic Stimulus Payment Calculator to see.  You’ll need your 2007 tax return in front of you to go through this exercise.

8  This stimulus payment won’t increase or lower your taxes or refund when you file your 2008 tax return.  The stimulus payment is simply a “pre-payment” on the refund you will be due when you file your 2008 taxes.  Those who don’t get it now will get it when they file their 2008 tax returns (as long as you are eligible for 2008).

9  If you already owe the IRS some money, then you probably won’t be getting your stimulus payment.

10  The payments are being processed according to the last two digits of your SSN#.  Check out the schedule from the IRS: 


Direct Deposit Payments

If the last two digits of your Social Security number are: Your economic stimulus payment deposit should be transmitted to your bank account by:
00 – 20 May 2
21 – 75 May 9
76 – 99 May 16

Paper Check

If the last two digits of your Social Security number are: Your check should be in the mail by:
00 – 09 May 16
10 – 18 May 23
19 – 25 May 30
26 – 38 June 6
39 – 51 June 13
52 – 63 June 20
64 – 75 June 27
76 – 87 July 4
88 – 99 July 11

Enjoy your new big screen TV.

Thanks, Jason M. Blumer, CPA