IRS: Stimulus payment not taxable

By Johnny Jackson


Officials with the Internal Revenue Service are reminding taxpayers they will not be taxed this year for the economic stimulus payment they received in 2008.

"People are starting to do their taxes and are noticing that the 2008 return instructs them to report the stimulus payment they got," said IRS spokesman Mark Green. "Some are mistakenly assuming that means the stimulus payment is taxable."

Green said the 2008 stimulus payments are not subject to federal income taxes, but must still be reported in case taxpayers are owed more.

"Tax filers are asked to report the amount of economic stimulus payment they received in 2008 to determine eligibility for the new recovery rebate credit, a sort of second chance at getting a stimulus payment," Green said.

Taxpayers who did not receive a stimulus payment in 2008, or did not receive the full amount, may be eligible for a recovery rebate credit of up to $600 per individual or $1,200 per married couple. The new credit will be reduced by the amount of any stimulus payment the taxpayer has already received.

A tool at the IRS.gov Web site will soon be available to help taxpayers figure out whether they are eligible for the recovery rebate credit. Another tool already online allows users to ask "How Much Was My 2008 Stimulus Payment?"

The IRS is also launching an expanded e-file program Friday which officials say will help taxpayers looking for faster refunds.


On the net:

Internal Revenue Service: www.irs.gov