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October, 2008 Tax Tip

Stimulus Payment Update


While well over 90% of this year’s stimulus payments have gone out, the IRS reports that it has been hounded by calls from taxpayers either wondering when they’ll get their checks or questioning the amount received.


As a tax return preparer, I have received many calls from clients that I sometimes wish had been directed to the IRS.  As my clients’ tax packets include the amount of stimulus payment they can expect to receive, the questions I get usually relate to the expected amount, which often is zero (due to high income or other limiting situations).  It appears that most taxpayers believe they should be receiving $600 each for husband and wife and $300 for each dependent.  While that popular belief might be wonderful (assuming the checks don’t bounce), in many cases it is just not so. 


For those who have filed and have yet to receive their check, my response is the same as that of the IRS:  “please be patient”.  There is a high volume of extra tax returns this year mainly because of the stimulus.  It could take eight to twelve weeks after the return is filed to process the check.


Below is the link to the stimulus payment page of the IRS website.  It provides the answers to nearly every question that might arise, including qualification.  Near the bottom of the page there is a stimulus payment calculator.  By simply inserting the requested information (you will need your tax return in front of you), you can determine or verify the amount you will receive or have received.,,id=177937,00.html


I can tell you that not one of my clients that has called me concerning the amount has shown me (or, I should say, my computer) to be wrong.


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