Tax Rebate: How Do I Get Mine?

Still confused about the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008? Who isn’t? Here’s the who, what, how and when from the experts at

Filing your 2007 tax return is more than a ticket to a refund; it is the only way to get the rebate check that can put up to $1200, or more, in your pocket. Filing on time has never been more worth it. This year, filing for an extension can delay your rebate check until December.

What Do You Have to Do to Get a Check?

  • To get a rebate check, you must file a tax return; either a form 1040, 1040A or 1040-EZ federal tax return for tax year 2007.
  • Persons who do not normally file tax returns, like retirees, will have to file a 2007 tax return in order to get a rebate check.

When Will the Checks be Mailed?

  • The IRS will begin mailing the rebate checks starting on May 2. The Treasury estimates that it should take about 10 weeks for all the checks to be mailed.
  • Persons who fail to file their 2007 tax returns by April 15, 2008 and request a filing extension may not receive rebate checks until as late as December.

Who Will Get Tax Rebate Checks? How Much Will You Get?

  • Single tax filers with adjusted gross income (AGI) less than $75,000 and couples filing jointly with AGIs less that $150,000 will qualify for full rebates.
  • Qualifying single filers (AGI less than $75,000) will get rebates of up to $600. Qualifying couples (AGI less than $150,000) will get rebates of up to $1,200, plus $300 per dependent child, with no maximum on the number of eligible children.
  • Persons who owe no income taxes, but earned at least $3,000 in wages, Social Security benefits or veterans disability benefits will get rebate checks of $300 for individuals and $600 for couples.

What if You Made More than the Maximum Income?

You will still get a check, but it will be reduced by 5-percent of the amount you earned above the AGI income caps of $75,000 for single filers and $150,000 for couples. At some income point above the AGI income caps, the rebate checks will phase out completely.

  • For Singles, the phaseout levels begin at $75k and end at $87k, at a reduction of 5% per $1,000 over the lower limit. If you earn above $87k, you’re over and thus get nothing.
  • For couples, the phaseout levels begin at $150k and end at $174, at a reduction of 5% per $1,000 over the lower limit. If you earned above $174k, you’re over and also get nothing.

Some people won’t get a stimulus payment. How do you know if you’re one of them?

You won’t get a stimulus payment in 2008, if any of the following apply to you:

  • Your net income tax liability is zero and your qualifying income is less than $3,000.

To determine your qualifying income, add together your wages, net self-employment income, nontaxable combat pay, Social Security benefits, certain Railroad Retirement benefits and certain veterans’ payments.

  • You can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return. For example, this would include a child or student who can be claimed on a parent’s return.
  • You do not have a valid Social Security Number.
  • You are a nonresident alien.

For more on what can work for you, against you, and how to do better this year, go to our new subscriber-based web service at

About the author

Clever Dude


  • borrowing money from china so they can give us a “forward” on future money we will have to pay back anyway, no thanks, i am sending mine back.

    and before you call me crazy about having to pay it back, remember, bush did this once before and we had to pay it back.

  • Yeah, I can safely say you WON’T be sending any money back. If you are, and it’s a check, I want full video of you inserting, sealing and mailing it (not back to yourself either).

    If it’s direct deposit, then good luck with getting that money back to the IRS and making sure they check off that you refused it. I’m positive their systems aren’t set up to handle that and you’d just get lost in the mail and owe it back anyway if that’s really true.

  • This is different than the refunds we got a few years ago. Those were ‘advances’ on a tax cut, so it’s true that they were ‘paid back’ on the next years tax form. This is not associated with a tax cut. They’re just straight refunds. It’s true that they’re just coming out of the federal deficit, but that’s a whole other topic. I just thought it’d be wise to clarify the difference between the two ‘rebates’.

  • I don’t know what to think about the tax stimulus. Am I happy to get $1,200? Sure!
    Am I concerned that it’s a gesture that the government can’t afford to make? You betcha!

  • mike, you will have no problem with getting a video of that 🙂 i will just mark refused and return to sender on it.

    and michael…people were misled the first time, what would stop it from happening again.

  • I sent my 2007 tax return in February . I received my return in direct deposit, but as of this date I have received or gotten a letter as to why I have not received my rebate. My last four digitsis 83-01. I am not on any special income. I retired in 1992, voluntarily, I am not on disability, railroad retirement or any other government free payment. I paid taxes when I worked and still pay tax while I retired (CSRS). I didn;t get a rebate three years ago either can I getthat rebate too.

  • I worked last year as an independent contractor and had no taxes withheld from my checks from the company I do most of my work for. Does this count also?
    I filed on the very last day of the 2008 tax filing period (Aparil 15). What do I do to get my check?

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