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Searching For Answers To Frequently Asked Questions About Your Tax Rebate Check

Published 3/6/08 (Modified 3/14/11)
By MoneyBlueBook

Updated - The IRS has released the official 2008 Economic Stimulus Payment Schedule.

Also, read about the prospects and chances of an Obama stimulus check for 2009.

Based on the substantial traffic and comments I've been receiving for the article I wrote explaining and breaking down the details of the 2008 Stimulus Rebate Package, it's clear that everyone in the United States is concerned about their rebate checks. Everybody wants to know how large their own tax rebate check will be and when they can expect to receive it.

There are many questions to be answered and I've been trying my best to respond to them all. While most questions have been straightforward, others have been slightly more complicated with issues relating to Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy filings, or issues relating to wage garnishment and student loan liens. But I will continue to do my best to answer your flurry of tax rebate comments and e-mails.

Visit The IRS Website For The Official Source Of Tax Rebate News and Updates

While I can't necessarily state that all answers that I provide are definitive, I do try my best to answer accurately based on research and reasonable information. One thing I have noticed is the vast amount of misinformation and speculation that is available on the internet. There seems to be much conjecture and rumors surrounding the tax rebate, particularly as it relates to timetable and the order that the checks will be sent out. I wish to remind readers that the only definitive source for tax rebate news and updates is the official IRS Economic Stimulus Payments Information Center (official website). There, they've done a pretty decent job of addressing the seemingly endless stream of tax rebate inquiries, even providing answers to popular tax rebate questions (Tax Rebate FAQ). The IRS tax rebate website provides stimulus check payment hypotheticals and answers questions pertaining to Social Security recipients and veterans living on disability. They post updates regularly and understandably so. Here's a quick link to some of the official tax rebate questions and answers for various filing scenarios:

  1. Single without children
  2. Head of Household, with children
  3. Married, with children
  4. Married, without children
  5. Married Filing Separately, with or without children

Here's the official information release for recipients of alternative types of income:

  1. Recipients of Social Security Retirement Income or Disability
  2. Recipients of VA Benefits, Disability, or Survivor Benefits

If you still have unanswered questions, please continue to post comment questions to my original Bush Tax Rebate article. I will try my best to diligently answer each one as best as I can. Keep in mind that while I do have a legal and financial background, you will be best served asking your own tax professional or hired attorney the more substantive tax and legal questions, particularly when it relates to more delicate legal issues surrounding bankruptcy and liens. My informal opinions should only be viewed and regarded as general background information rather than seen as authoritative financial advice.

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141 Responses to “Searching For Answers To Frequently Asked Questions About Your Tax Rebate Check” 

  1. Michael says:

    I filed jointly with my wife, I have 2 sons and our gross income was 26,957 my wife is a stay at home mom so she had no income. What is my rebate check going to be?

  2. Raymond says:


    It depends. How old are your two sons? Are they both under the ages of 17? Also, what was your tax liability on your joint tax return?

  3. Brandon says:

    My wife and I have 3 children (all under 17) and she is a stay at home mom. My (our) AGI was roughly 85,000. Will we receive the full amount at 2100, or does my wife not qualify because she did not have an income?

  4. Raymond says:


    Looking at your numbers and checking the tax rebate chart - it appears you will receive the full $2,100, which includes your joint $1,200 and the extra $300's for 3 minor children. If you submitted your tax return as married filing jointly, it is immaterial whether your wife worked or not. So long as your combined income consists of the requisite qualified income and falls within the adjusted gross income limits, you will get the full tax rebate payment plus more for the kids. Congrats - $2,100 is quite a tidy sum! Don't spend it all on one place...although the IRS may beg to differ (they WANT you to spend it all at once).

  5. Brandon says:


    Thank you for your quick response and I look forward to saving the 2100. =)

  6. andre says:

    good one for ya. i owe student loans. but not long enough to have my taxes intercepted. but i did get a call from a creditor AFTER I RECIEVED MY REFUND ALREADY saying that i had a choice. wage garnishment or a monthly amount taken from my account. the monthly amount was resonable so i took that option. because my taxes where not intercepted but i am now in the system will my rebate check be intercepted?

  7. Raymond says:


    Check the monthly payment plan you agreed to. There is likely a provision that provides for all future tax refunds to be intercepted and used to satisfy the existing unpaid student loan debt. Usually there is such a condition attached to these type of agreements. Of course, the logistics of actually intercepting your tax rebate is another matter. Something tells me the IRS won't be able to re-route your tax rebate in time this late in the game. This is more of an educated, wishy-washy guess than anything else however..

  8. Dr. Love says:

    Raymond --

    You advised a reader above not to worry about the notification letter. Is there a reason why some people didn't get them?

    I only ask because I meet all criteria and have yet to hear from the IRS.

    Thanks in advance!

  9. Raymond says:

    Dr. Love,

    The IRS notification letter is only a standard template letter sent to individuals the IRS thinks may qualify for the rebate based on past tax records. It doesn't accurately reflect on whether the person would qualify now or not. If you qualify, so long as you filed your taxes, you should get your tax rebate. As I mentioned in a past post, the IRS letter contains zero new information. It didn't address me by name - all recipients are simply referred to as "taxpayer". Thus, you shouldn't worry about it.

  10. Nancy says:

    Raymond, My Husband and I ended up owing additional taxes on our 2007 tax. We did not have the money to pay so we sent in a installment proposal with our taxes. Will the IRS intercept our rebate?

  11. Raymond says:


    The IRS usually does not start intercepting tax refunds until they've given adequate notice of a deficiency and provided time to respond regarding payment. However, once the installment plan is actually set up, there is usually a provision in the installment agreement that calls for future refunds to be automatically applied towards the unpaid liability. But in this case, I would not expect your tax rebate to be intercepted so early on.

  12. Brandon says:


    I recently got married last year, this is the first year we are filing jointly. She owes back taxes and is on a payment plan with the IRS. I do not owe any back taxes. Will the IRS intercept my rebate as well and apply it to her back taxes or will i get a rebate and the IRS will apply her rebate to her back taxes? I am the first SS# on the tax return.

    Thanks in advance.

  13. Raymond says:


    Congrats on getting married and getting to do married people stuff like filing jointly!

    Unfortunately, the IRS will intercept your joint tax refunds, including the joint tax rebate to pay off any of your individual unpaid tax liabilities. Since you filed jointly, you two will only receive a single tax rebate payment, but it's likely the payment will be intercepted. You should have tried filing an injured spouse claim with your return to separate yourself from your wife's unpaid tax debts. A successful injured spouse claim may have entitled you to receive your portion of the tax refund/tax rebate.

    I believe you can file injured spouse claims for prior years if I'm not mistaken. Not sure you'll be able to recover your intercepted tax rebate however...

  14. Michael says:

    My sons are under 17 and I had 0 tax liability.

  15. Raymond says:


    Based on your AGI of $26,957, filing married jointly, with two under-17 children, and no tax liability - your tax rebate should be $1,200. This includes the $600 for you and your wife, and extra $300 child rebates for each kid.

  16. cynthia says:

    hi me and my husband did our taxes april 14 and found out we owe 17$ in federal and 530$ in state. how will this affect my rebate check? we made together 56k and this is the first time we have ever owed and i already paid off the 17$ just not the 530$ for state just yet. does this mean we wont get one or will have them take out what we owe from our rebate check ?

  17. Adrian says:

    When would we receive the check if we filed for an extension with our taxes? When the return is submitted to the IRS or do they know enough with the submission of the extention paperwork?

  18. Amy says:

    I am a dependent, and I earned almost $3,000 this year. Does this mean I am ineligible?

  19. Paul says:

    My wife and I filled for Ch13 4 years ago we a the last payment is planned for august. Will the trustee still require the stimus check?

  20. Mike says:

    Hi Raymond.
    My wife and I had an AGI of 189,900. We have four kids under 17, three of whom have disabilities. We have not been able to deduct the medical expenses for them beyond the limits of my company's flex plan, so we are hoping for some sort of rebate to help offset their care. Any chance we may qualify?

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