In 2008, Congress authorized the IRS to issue Economic Stimulus Payments (ESP) to boost the economy and help struggling families. By September 2008, 114.8 million individuals received about $300 from the IRS. However, if you didnít file a 2007 tax return you may have missed out. Fortunately, you will get a second chance.
Now, referred to as the Recovery Rebate Credit, the payment can be claimed in 2009 by filing a 2008 tax return. Individuals may claim the Recovery Rebate Credit if they fall under one of these categories:
Qualified in 2008 but didnít file a 2007 tax return by the October 15th 2008 deadline; or
Received an ESP in 2008 based on their 2007 circumstances, but due to changed circumstances in 2008 now would be entitled to a larger amount. or
Did not qualify for the ESP in 2008, but they now meet the requirements based on their 2008 income; or
Filed a 2007 tax return but did not receive an ESP or a clear explanation of why they didnít.
To qualify for ESP, individuals must have had $3,000 or more in income from earnings; Social Security benefits, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Veterans disability benefits; or a combination of any of these benefits and pay in 2007. You must have a valid Social Security number. Individuals cannot get ESP if they can be claimed as a dependent by another person.
For more information about filing your 2007 tax return click here.
Information provided by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.