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2007 Tax Returns Are Required To Receive Government Rebate Checks

By Staff | Feb 19, 2008

Come this May, Iowans and other Americans will begin to find envelopes from the government, containing rebate checks, in their mailboxes. While most citizens will not need to do a thing in order to receive their rebates, there are others who need to be aware of some extra steps.

“Many people who normally don’t have to file a return will have to do so in order to get a rebate check,” said Ed Burdorf, CPA, Burdorf, Parrott & Associates in Emmetsburg.

According to Burdorf, those receiving rebates must have made at least $3,000 in income in 2007. Low-income employees, Social Security recipients, disabled veterans (and their surviving spouses), and retired railroad workers must all file a return.

“Normally, an individual whose only income is only $3,000 or less would not be required to file a return. Likewise, someone whose entire income consists of $8,000 in Social Security benefits would normally not have to file a return,” Burdorf stated. “However, these people should file either Form 1040 (enter information on line 20a) or Form 1040A (line 14a) to show the IRS that they meet the $3,000 qualifying income threshold.”

Burdorf noted that those who file will not owe any income tax as a result of filing. He added that those who have already filed a 2007 return and did not include Social Security that they may have received in 2007, should amend their returns to include those Social Security benefits.

Checks will range in amount from $300 to $600 for individuals and $600 to $1,200 for joint filers. Taxpayers may also receive $300 for each qualifying child under the age of 17. In most cases, low-income recipients will receive $300 checks, and joint filers will receive $600 checks.

The checks are part of the $168 billion economic stimulus package that President George W. Bush and the U.S. Congress worked on together. The president signed-off on the package last Wednesday, Feb. 13.

While many will pocket the money–putting it in savings–others will likely pay down their existing debt. That’s not what the government wants you to do. They want you to go out and spend, spend, spend. While talk of a recession continues and experts wonder if the country is in recession or is teetering on the brink of recession, the government is hoping the rebates will do their part to stimulate the U.S. economy.