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My First Economic Stimulus Payment Notice Has Arrived

This article was written by in Taxes. 8 comments.

Over the weekend, I received a notification from the IRS about the economic stimulus. The notice isn’t personalized; it contains only general information about the new law. The text of the letter is straightforward. Rather than get into the details, particularly the facts that the law authorizes a new credit to 2008 income taxes and that the “payment” referred to in the letter is a pre-payment of that credit, estimated based on 2007 income taxes.

The notification is a waste of money. Here is the final paragraph:

All individuals receiving payments will receive a notice and additional information shortly before the payment is made. In the meantime, for additional information, please visit the IRS website at

(Interestingly, the web address is underlined as if it were a hyperlink, but as this letter appears on paper. “Clicking” on the link will get you nowhere.)

If the IRS is sending out a second notification right before the payments are sent, I would say that this pre-notification notification is pointless. The opposite side of the letter contains some instructions for calculating this tax credit. Unfortunately, the instructions are far too simplistic to provide an accurate answer for most people. Even the calculator on the IRS website provides only an estimate. I’d have to say that the only calculator that follows the letter of the law is the one posted on Consumerism Commentary and provided by a reader. Of course, since the IRS is calculating the final credit amount on their own, and they probably won’t be using the calculator found here, we can’t guarantee that what you receive will be the same as the result from our calculator.

Here’s a schedule showing when the IRS will send payments to individuals, via check or direct deposit.

Updated June 22, 2016 and originally published March 24, 2008.

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About the author

Luke Landes 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 Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar 1 Anonymous

The vote buying package of 2008 is way too confusing. I will take what they give me and put it to good use, bu trying to figure out what the government is going to do is like predicting the weather. We all know something is coming and the prediction is probably wrong.

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avatar 2 Anonymous

The purpose for an “underlined” site on paper is because that is how people generally associate sites in visual form – much the same as blue links are generally construed as “linkable” items to be clicked on.

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avatar 3 Anonymous

This is ridiculous. We got two, of course. One for each. With the internet age and main stream media, I think you would hard pressed to find 100 people who didn’t know about the details of the mailers. Waste. Of. Money.

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avatar 4 Anonymous

You’re right, these notices are a complete waste of time and money. This “stimulus” is not going to do much good anyway. The stated goal is to get people (or, as they prefer to call us, consumers) to spend the money. We had a discussion about this while with family at Easter and every single person planned to save the money, except for one who will use it to help pay off a credit card. No one said they were going to buy something with it.

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avatar 5 Anonymous

if i haven’t recieved a notice that i’m getting a stimulus check than does that mean i’m not getting one.

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avatar 6 Anonymous


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avatar 7 Anonymous

*worried* No, it just means that your check isn’t close to being mailed out yet. My husband has the last 2 numbers of “06” and he got a letter about 4 days ago saying he should receive a check by the 16th. Well, apparently they mailed them that day. Mine won’t go out til June 25th.

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avatar 8 Anonymous

According to the payment schedule, I was suppose to get a paper check,mailed no later then 5/30. Today 5/31 I checked the “tracker” and it said no info. was available. What should I do and how long should I wait to do it?

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