Monday, September 15, 2008

How To Not Delay Your Stimulus Check

People who are awaiting an economic stimulus payment or who have yet to file can avoid common errors that may delay their payment. They also can use the IRS Web site to answer most common questions. The Internal Revenue Service, which is still issuing economic stimulus payments, has been studying trends and common issues in filing errors and questions posed by people calling its customer service telephone lines. The most common question posed to the IRS is from people wondering when they will receive their stimulus payment. The question can be answered easily by going to and using the “Where’s My Economic Stimulus Payment?” Web tool. Here’s how to avoid common mistakes:

File only one tax return — People should file only one 2007 tax return. It takes the IRS up to 12 weeks to process paper returns and issue the stimulus payments. However, some people are filing more than one tax return in an effort to receive a stimulus payment, which could further delay their stimulus payment. The IRS is concerned there will be more multiple filings as the Oct. 15 deadline approaches for filing a return in 2008.

List qualifying income — Some people are listing their monthly income instead of annual income. People must list their annual amount of qualifying income to be eligible for the minimum payment of $300 ($600 married filing jointly). The qualifying income required by law is at least $3,000 in benefits from Social Security, Veterans Affairs and Railroad Retirement, earned income and/or combat pay.

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