Lowdown on tax rebates
Congress passed an economic stimulus plan that will give rebates to more than 130 million taxpayers. President Bush signed the measure Wednesday. Here's what you can expect:
Q: When will I get my rebate?
A: The Internal Revenue Service will begin mailing rebates in early May. The IRS is still trying to figure out the order in which it will send the payments, but you must file your tax return before you can get it.
Q: How do I get my refund?
A: File a 2007 tax return and the IRS will calculate how much you'll get, Acting IRS Commissioner Linda Stiff said in a news conference Wednesday. You won't need to fill out an extra form or call the agency.
Q: How much will I get?
A: Single taxpayers will get $600. Joint filers will get $1,200, with $300 per child. If your adjusted gross income is $75,000, or a couple with income over $150,000, you will get smaller rebates -- $50 less per $1,000 over those income limits.
Q: Will the rebate be mailed out/deposited with my tax refund?
A: No. Rebates will be mailed or deposited separately.
Q: What if I'm a low income-worker or get Social Security, veterans' or disability benefits and am not normally required to file a tax return?
A: You can still get a rebate ($300 for single filers, $600 on joint return) if you had at least $3,000 in qualifying income. Normally, those who get Social Security or veteran's benefits don't have to file a tax return, but if you want your rebate, you must file a return this year. Report your 2007 benefits on Line 14a of Form 1040A or Line20a of Form 1040.
Q: Will the rebate count as 2008 taxable income?
A: No. In addition, these rebates will not affect your ability to get federal benefits.
Q: If I end up having a higher income in 2008, thus qualifying me for a higher rebate than I got this year (based on my 2007 return), will I get a bigger rebate?
A: Yes. The IRS will refund you the difference next year.
Q: Do I need a valid Social Security number to get my rebate?
Q: Who is not eligible for the rebate?
A: You won't be eligible if you're filing a tax return using an individual taxpayer identification number or if someone else can claim you as a dependent. This may mean some high school students and some college students.
Q: I've been getting e-mails and phone calls about these rebates. Should I respond?
A: No, no, no. The IRS says it will mail you information, but it will NOT call or e-mail you. Watch out for rampant telephone and e-mail phishing scams asking you for personal information.
Q: Where else can I find information?