2008-08-01 / Letters

The Fine Print Of The Stimulus Payment

Dear Editor,

For the last few months we have been bombarded by the T.V. and newspapers about a stimulus payment, that is a bonus from Uncle Sam to stimulate the shaggy economy. They advertise, loud and clear, that every adult is entitle to $600, with a qualified dependent child receiving $300, a couple with two children will receive $1,800. From the well informed sources, I learned a different version of the stimulus bonus. To ascertain my belief, I went on line and voila I found my belief to be correct. A lengthy (very lengthy) explanation of the Stimulus' rules confirmed my belief and that is not everyone will receive a stimulus bonus. These are some of the rules and regulations found on the Internet:

People with a qualified 2007 income of at least $3000 are entitled to $600 each.

A couple will receive $1,200 (a qualified dependent child will receive $300) provided that they paid some tax. If no tax was paid, they will receive $300 each. Phase Out: both the basic component and the additional funds for qualifying children begins to phase out for individuals with adjusted gross incomes of over $75,000 and married couples who file a joint return with adjusted gross income of over $150,000.

The combined payment is reduced by five percent of the income above the AGI threshold. The qualified income includes: wages that are reported on Form W-2; net self-employment income; Social Security benefits reported in box five of the 2007 form 1099-RRB; Veterans' benefits received in 2007; including veterans' disability compensation and pension or survivors' benefits received from the Department of Veterans; nontaxable combat pay if the taxpayer elects to include it as earned income.

Let us see who is not entitled to it: you don't file a 2007 tax return; your net income tax liability is zero and your qualifying income is less than $3,000; you can be claimed as a dependent on someone else's return (whether or not you actually are claimed as a dependent on someone else's return.); you do not have a valid Social Security number; you are a nonresident alien; or you are a higher taxpayer.

At a first glance we can clearly see that only people with a qualified 2007 income (and tax paid) will receive a full bonus; while people without a qualified 2007 income will not receive it. Without going into details, people with an income (that could very well do without the bonus) will receive it, while people, without any qualified income (that are indeed in need of a stimulus bonus) will not receive it. What a farce.


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As I understand this. THe stimulus is a tax refund. If you do not pay taxes how could you expect a refund. THink with your head not your heart

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