Update on Stimulus Payments

IRS ahead of the curve

By Kaye A. Thomas
Posted April 28, 2008

Non-filers still have time.

The massive task of sending millions of stimulus checks to taxpayers is under way. Some, in fact, have gone out earlier than originally promised, so keep an eye on your bank account (if you use direct deposit) or your mailbox (if not).

To receive your payment in the first huge wave, you had to file your 2007 tax return early enough for it to be processed by April 15. If you mailed it on or near the deadline, actual processing won't have occurred by that date even though mailing is good enough to meet the filing deadline. In that case you may have to wait longer for the payment, although you will eventually receive it, assuming you qualify.

The IRS can't send 100 million payments all at once, so they have to proceed in some kind of order. They've chosen to line people up according to the last two digits of their Social Security number. Those with the lowest digits (beginning with 00) will receive their payments first. People like me (95) have to wait a little longer.

details: Link to stimulus payment schedule on IRS website

Non-filers can still file

There are plenty of people, especially among retirees and disabled veterans, who are eligible for a stimulus payment even though they don't have enough taxable income to file a tax return. These people have to file a 2007 tax return (a simplified version) to receive the stimulus payment, however. Anyone who failed to do so can still file and receive a stimulus payment, even though April 15 has come and gone.

The easiest way to do this is to prepare and file the return online. We strongly recommend TaxACT for this purpose, as they offer online preparation and filing entirely free of charge, and altered their software for the specific purpose of making it easier to prepare returns when filing solely to receive a stimulus payment.

Further information on filing solely to receive a stimulus payment is available from the IRS.

details: Link to IRS information release