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Economic Stimulus Tax Rebate Calculator

This article was written by in Economy. 336 comments.


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This article is for tax year 2008. For 2009 and beyond, see our roundup of 8 (or more) Ways to Benefit from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (AKA Stimulus Plan).

Updated March 18, 2008 with an estimated schedule of payments.

President Bush has signed into law a $165 billion economic stimulus package providing rebate checks to taxpayers. You might receive a check for $300, $600, $1,200, or even more depending on your conditions.

Originally, PBS Newshour provided a calculator to help taxpayers to determine the amount of the rebate, but that calculator has been proven to be faulty. With the help of Consumerism Commentary reader cdg, I’m now including a new calculator, revised several times over the past few days to increase clarity and accuracy. This calculator properly takes into account the information from the bill passed by Congress and signed into law by the President (H.R.5140) and has been verified by CPAs and tax accountants. However, any information presented should not be considered tax advice.

The validity of the result depends on the accuracy of the information you enter. Before entering the data or asking any questions, please scroll the calculator down to read the definitions and read all the comments at the bottom of this post.


TurboTax is Easy, Free Edition, Fast Refund

Since this “rebate” is an advance for a new credit which will be included on the 2008 1040 income tax form, it will not affect your 2007 taxes. In April 2008 (this year for 2007′s tax settlement), you will receive what you are owed or you will have to pay what you owe as if the rebate never occurred.

This summer you will receive the rebate for the 2008 credit as calculated above.

In April 2009 or thereabouts, when you file your taxes for 2008, the IRS will run the calculation for the stimulus rebate credit again. If the results show that you would have received more (due to an additional child, for instance), you will be sent the difference. If your results show that you would have received a smaller rebate, then you get to keep the difference. This is an additional credit. You do not have to pay back to the IRS what you will receive this summer. Receiving this advance will not reduce next year’s refund nor will you owe more federal tax.

March 18 Update: The IRS has released a schedule estimating when you will receive your rebate.

Updated March 21, 2011 and originally published January 28, 2008. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 336 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Paco

Hello,
Just got Economic check for $403.00. Im single, no kids and made about $23500.00 last year and I do not owe the IRS a dime. I am totally confused by this check being $197.00 short of $600.00, Does anyone have an explanation to this?, Im clueless. I have friends at work that got their $600.00, $1200.00 etc. Please HELP!! Times are tough enough..no a SHORTFALL?

Yhanks..Paco

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avatar RJ

Are you sure you didn’t underpay your taxes by $197? Do you owe any back taxes or have debts, such as unpaid student loans or child support obligations? I filed for Direct Deposit of my rebate check which should have arrived by May 9th and have received nothing as of yet. I paid my taxes with a paper check attached to the paper 1040 and filled in the DD info but maybe if you pay taxes by paper check, the rebate must be made by paper check.

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avatar spm666

My stimulus payment has been denied just because of the fact that the last name does not EXACTLY match the last name per SSA. per SSA my wife has a name(A), an initial(B), and another name(C) ALL has part of last name. But in the 1040, I put in only (C) as the last name. The same issue happened during my tax refund but they were able to fix it over phone. But for this IRS says they do not have the authority to do this … I think it is tough to lose out on the money just because of this. Especially since this is the first time I am filing returns in the US (I have been here only since April 2007). Really dissapointed.

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avatar P K

where is the logic? “free” money to the underemployed… and no comp for a dependent child,over the age of 17, who is a full-time student at university paying $17,500 to attend!
hello?!

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avatar Mandy

Please can someone explain to me while me and my other friends all filed ourselves and were not claimed as dependents by anyone else, and we all make around the same amount the 19,000 20,000 range why everyone got $600 back and yet i only got $300 i just dont get it……. why didnt i get $600 im so lost on this!!!!

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avatar Nancy

We received a notice that we owed extra money for 2006. We haven’t sent the paperwork back yet, because we don’t know if they will deduct this from our $1200.00 rebate check. When I check online with the IRS it says that information regarding our stimulus check is not available but we did receive out 2nd notice stating we are suppose to get $1200.00. I called the IRS twice and got two different answers. One tells us that we will still get the $1200.00 and the other says they will deduct what we owe. Since we haven’t sent the paperwork back agreeing that we owe, can they hold our stimulus check? What a mess!

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,373 (Platinum)

Mandy: THere are a number of reasons why you didn’t receive the same amount of your friends. You didn’t provide enough information for anyone to be sure. Try the calculator at the top of this page. There are explanations below the calculator which explain why someone may qualify for only the minimum payment ($300).

Nancy: The IRS will most likely use your stimulus payment to pay any outstanding tax bills if you haven’t paid your taxes on time. There’s a slight possibility that they won’t catch it, but according to their official stance, your stimulus payment will be applied to your outstanding tax owed to the government.

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avatar Lorin

I have a 19-yr old daughter/full time student for whom I get no comp because she is >=17, and she gets no stim payment for herself even though she works, pays taxes and meets the liability requirement because I can claim her as a dependent. Doesn’t seem fair.

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avatar bretticus

It’s an economic stimulus plan folks! The logic of the plan makes sense to me. You pay folks who are poorer because they are the ones that are effected the most by the current economy. They are the ones most likely to spend the money. Why give money to people who already have money to burn? The richer folks are spending it anyway because they can! I’m not saying it will work as intended. I for one, thought it would pay down debt, but I have car repair, etc. coming up and I’m damned grateful for a little extra money.

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avatar Robert Morgan

My wife and I filed a Married Joint tax return for 2007 and also paid an additional $1,700.+ amount.. The last two digits of my social security number are 13. Today we have heard nothing.

When should we receive our Tax Stimulus refund?

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avatar SusanR

I’m chiming in very, very late, but I just had to say AMEN! Could not have said it better myself.

http://www.fairtax.org, it’s the way to go.

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avatar Fbee

Hello

I filed my taxes Feb 1. I received my refund a few weeks later. According to the stimulus refund scedual, I should have recived the refund on May 15. As of June 9th I still dont have it. Anyone know if theres anyone i can talk to about this or email? I tried the 800 number but its all automated. thanks

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avatar JJTandahalf

This is ludicrous…

I know for a fact that my boss makes $30K-40K more than I do. He has a stay-at-home wife (who does so even though all the kids are at school all day) and four kids. He owns a swanky McMansion; I own a small suburban condo unit. His car is much nicer than mine. I’m engaged to be married (so still filing single) and childless.

I should get more stimulus than him, right? Wrong. I just barely got phased out ($0 for me) by the caps, and my boss gets a whopping $2,400.

Our tax system is killer to young, hard-working professionals. We pay more for not having kids. We pay more for marrying other people like ourselves who also want to have a career (oh, the horror!).

We need to stop treating industrious childless middle-class professionals like hedonistic thrill-seeking moochers. Our system rewards people for using public goods & services and penalizes those who expand the GDP. If people choose to have children because it brings them joy, then they should be willing to pay for it.

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avatar JJTandahalf

Thought I’d add one more comment to my previous post…

In China, people essentially DO pay more to the government for kids (they pay fines for having more than one child). I’m not advocating that the U.S. do the same, but last time I checked, China’s economy has been outperforming us lately and quite frankly may be kicking our butt soon.

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avatar nick

yeah I should have recieved this garbage more than a month ago now and I’ve seen people who don’t even work get theres. WTF!!!

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avatar Holly

Well I finally got an answer to my ? posted a zillion posts ago and after finally getting thru to the IRS – but the real answer arrived in the mail yesterday – even though I worked out an installment agreement to pay 2007 taxes I owed and already made 2 payments – the IRS took our total 1,200 and applied it to our installment agreement – Part of me feels this is unfair cause if you don’t even have to claim it on your taxes for 08 it should be considered separate from the IRS – it is supposed to be free and clear $ to help the economy – do they really have a right to keep it cause we owe them and they control the funds- I owe credit cards and mortgage too – just cause they don’t have access to it they can’t grab it. I don’t think this is fair at all. It should be treated separate from the IRS.

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avatar jane

News today announced all time high defecit in part thanks to stimulus payouts and record unemployment. Everyone I know used their check to pay credit cards or they banked it. Gas prices also at an all-time high. No summer vacation this year for this family of four. Travel is becoming a big-time luxury.

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avatar jane

To the one with the boss with 4 kids and a stay-at-home wife:

Your boss probably isn’t further ahead than you making $30-40K with four kids. It’s not like people with children make out like bandits in the scheme of things when it comes to taxes….$1,500 deduction per child is NOTHING . Save your contempt for those who choose to sit on their behinds, collect welfare and not contribute to the economy. Oh, and exactly what is wrong with being a stay-at-home mom? I was never busier than when I was at home with my two boys. It’s funny how those who have never experienced raising children think of it as a cush job. Where should the kids go to afterschool…daycare? After school programs while mom chases a career? Please……….

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avatar ryan

Question: I am 23 years old, a college student, worked in 2007 and made over $3000. I can still be claimed as a dependent by my parents. Here is the question: since I am a dependent I will not get a stimulus payment; however, since I am 23 (over 17) I am too old for my parents to get money for me as a dependent – is this right? Are we just in a situation, not unlike many other families, that forbids a payment to/for me?

To further complicate things, for the 2008 tax year, I will no longer be a dependent. Does this mean that when I file in 2009 (when the stimulus requirements are apparently revisited and recalculated) that I will get the money which I did not receive in 2008 given that I will no longer be a dependent?

Any information or suggestions of where to receive answers is appreciated.

Thank You.

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avatar Toby

The way I understand it, you will get the rebate in 2009. They are going to recalculate the rebate in 2009 and subtract what you received this year. I’ve heard conflicting things about how they are going to handle the rebates in 2009. I read somewhere that the rebates will be handled the same way, and I’ve also read that they are going to be a credit on the tax return in 2009.

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avatar Ghosthawk4

This so-called economic stimulus has got me furious. I know I cant be the only one owe taxes/government loan. This money should be free and clear of any obligations to the government–after all, isn’t it suppose to try and stimulate the economy?

First they tell me “Oh you have this much coming back to you!” In practically the same breath, “Oh wait! You owe us, so we’re just going to take this money back from you!”

Why the hell even bother notifying I’m getting money I wont see a dime of? How stupid–and a waste of taxpayer bucks to print and mail the form–is that?

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avatar Frustrated

I don’t understand the IRS at all. I don’t understand how they calculate anything. This stimulus plan is ridiculous. My wife and I used the calculator provided on the IRS website. It indicates we should be receiving $1200. According to my social security number, it should have been direct deposited by May 16. I understand the IRS is supposed to have sent a notice indicating the amount that will be received (we have never received one). We have no outstanding payments.

We received a direct deposit yesterday, June 20, for $157.
I do not know the rationale and cannot fathom what it might be for us to receive less than 10% of what the IRS calculator indicated.

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avatar Frustrated

sorry…more like less than 14%…

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avatar RJ

Something doesn’t compute in your story. Did you use the estimator at the top of this page and arrive at the same $1200 rebate? Are you sure you have no loans, back taxes due, anything like that? Can’t remember exactly what they have a right to withhold but it’s somewhere on this page. I got the statement in the mail a few days after I received the direct deposit so you still may get it this week. If everything else checks out and you still think you are in the right, I think you can appeal or apply it towards next year’s taxes. Check with your accountant or contact IRS.

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avatar Wendy Claflin

I recieved a tax bill for $318.00 which I paid & the check was paid. I had recieved a notice that I was to recieve a stimulus check for $413.00. The check I recieved was for only $93.41.
How can I recieve the balance?

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avatar Kathy Guisto

What a joke! My husband and I make approximately $50,000 (-/+) and owe each year. We are making installment payments, and now $1200 is supposed to be credited to that. We received no notification and of course nothing is ever said on news. Neil Cavuto – Fox News – had it right. Keep the $$ — ones getting it will probably just use it to go deeper into debt.

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avatar Kathy

My husband receives social security and a pension with no taxes taken out. I work part time. We rec’d a stimulus check for $600. I was under the impression that we would receive $1200, so it that because he has no taxes taken out of his income (pensions & ss

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avatar ekay

social security retirees and veterans and railroad retirees could get the payment, but what about the civil service federal retirees? someone forget about us getting a payment -

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avatar Mr. WILLIE

We got $600. and were suppose to get $1500., so I forwarded a letter to them and within one month the other $900. was in the mailbox. I didn’t get a letter from them, so we didn’t know the check was coming until I saw it in the mailbox. They corrected their mistake as soon as they received my letter.

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avatar 1945

My husband and are retired. He received $ 600, while I did not. My SS benefits are greater than his. Why I did not receive $ 600? Thank you. I will look for answer. Sincerely
1945

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avatar Deb

Well, I have news. We owe back taxes back in 1996 and 1997, and have a Federal Lien against us, since we never had enough money to pay it all back, even though we struggled to pay 800 to 1000 monthly until we finally ended up filing bankruptcy. We did not receive the stimulus check because we owed the IRS back taxes.

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avatar becky

BY DOING MY SONS 08′ TAXES, WE DISCOVERED THAT THE REBATE CHECK HE RECEIVED, NOW HAS TO BE PD. BACK ON HIS TAXES…..BE GLAD YOU DIDN’T GET ONE. I DIDN’T EITHER. WASN’T A REBATE BUT A LOAN…..AMERICANS ARE GOING TO BE OUT RAGED!

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,373 (Platinum)

Becky: Your son doesn’t owe the rebate back — he’s just not getting it twice. This has been explained here.

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avatar MJ

My husband and I filed jointly. We did not receive any money last year. We have rental income (we rent units to tenants), and is shown on our tax return as Rents, partnerships, etc. We did pay taxes, yet the line that says taxable income is $0.

In our case, Form 1040 Line 37 is around $17,000

We don’t have forms 1040A or 1040EZ

Why didn’t we get any money from the stimulus check and is there something we could do different this year?

Thanks a lot for your help!

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avatar Phil

I only rec’d $300 in 08. I entered that. The feds rejected and said i rec’d $600? Dropped my return$200. WTF?

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avatar Vivian Price

I receive ssi, And i would like to know how much i will get back from the Obama Economic Stimulus Package?

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