You may be getting money from the IRS without even knowing it. As the economic crunch worsened in 2008, the IRS expects to hand out more stimulus check payments to millions of US taxpayers this year. In February, the economic-stimulus law was enacted which provides tax breaks for taxpayers with an annual income of less than $75,000. Eligibility is based on income, family size, and other factors as reported in your federal income tax return for either 2007 or 2008.
The Treasury Department expects to hand out tax rebates of about $10 billion next year. According to government statistics, employment dipped by 1.2 million in the first 10 months of 2008. Unemployment rate rose to 6.5% in October and analysts predict that this will climb to 8% by the end of next year. As such, there is more pressure in Congress to provide additional economic-stimulus measures to help out millions to households suffering from the financial crisis.
Under the economic-stimulus law, people who paid federal income taxes with income of less than $75,000 (or$150,000 for joint filers) will receive as much as $600 for an individual, or as much as $1,200 for a married couple and $300 for each eligible child. You will lose 5% of the dollar amount above the applicable threshold or $50 for each $1,000 above the cap. Even those who paid little or no taxes at all may be eligible for stimulus payments.
Some people eligible for a payment this year haven’t received it yet probably due to a wrong address. The IRS reported that it’s searching for people who are missing more than 279,000 economic stimulus checks totaling about $163 million and more than 104,000 regular refund checks totaling about $103 million. These checks were sent out but were returned by the U.S. Postal Service due to mailing address errors. It is critical that taxpayers who may be due a stimulus check update their address with the IRS by November 28 as these need to be sent out by the IRS before the year ends. To check the status of a stimulus check and get instructions on how to update an address, go to the IRS Web site and click on “Where’s My Stimulus Payment?” or call 866-234-2942.
To help taxpayers determine their recovery rebate credit, they have posted tools on the IRS Website to help people. It includes a worksheet to help figure out the amount in the 2008 tax packages. If you don’ want to do the numbers, you can get a tax preparation software like Turbo Tax that will inform you of rebates or refunds when you do your returns for 2008.
You may be in need of extra money and unaware that the IRS owes you a stimulus check or a refund check. Make sure you have updated or indicated the right address with the IRS. Regular refund checks averaging $988 apiece were also returned to the IRS due to wrong addresses. These checks will be re-sent as soon as taxpayers update their addresses. You can do that with the “Where’s My Refund” tool on the IRS Web site, or call 800-829-1954.