May 6, 2008

Q & A: More On The Stimulus Rebate

QUESTION: I have received my 2008 tax rebate already....but from what I've been hearing mine was short. I had $413 direct deposited to my bank. However, I heard that it was supposed to be $600. My girlfriend who's my same age, files the same form and makes about the exact same yearly income as me, got an even $600. I was just wondering what makes the difference in our case. All the research I've done states that i would be expecting a $600 check like everyone else. Do you have any idea on if this was a possible error or, if not, how they figure the amount in more detail? Or if there anyone that I could contact to find out, and if it was wrong, could it be corrected? Any information would be a big help and greatly appreciated.

ANSWER: There are a couple of reasons why your rebate check was less than the "advertised" amount of $600. One reason is that if your total tax liability on your 1040 return for 2007 was less than $600, the rebate you will receive will equal the amount of the tax liability. The IRS rationale on this is that if you didn't have at least $600 in tax liability for 2007 than you merit a rebate that only equals the liability, nothing more. A second reason could be if you had any balance due from a prior tax year on your record with the IRS. If any unpaid tax liability exists for any tax year, the IRS will apply the stimulus rebate to the unpaid balance.
If you believe your rebate is for the incorrect amount, we recommend you either consult your tax advisor or call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.

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