Tax rebate Feed

More than 80 million stimulus checks went out last week, mostly to people who filed federal 2018 or 2019 returns and had the Internal Revenue Service directly deposit those tax years' refunds. Millions more have been anxiously checking the IRS' Get My Payment online tracking tool (guilty!) and/or their bank accounts (guilty again!) to find out just how far along their (my) COVID-19 relief payment is in the distribution system. In many cases, people who didn't get refunds, but are eligible for the coronavirus stimulus money are trying to speed up the delivery process by using the online tool to... Read more →

Treasury backtracks and now says Social Security recipients who qualify for the COVID-19 payments will get the money without having to file a tax return. Never underestimate the power of the older population. The U.S. government learned that lesson this week, when the Treasury Department announced, contrary to its prior assurances (and a new law), that folks on Social Security would have to file a tax return if they wanted to get their share of the coronavirus relief payments. Last night, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin reversed that requirement. (Yes, on April 1. No, it was no an April Fool's Day... Read more →

The law that created coronavirus stimulus payments just took effect yesterday and we're weeks at best from getting actual money. But tax planners have been thinking about COVID-19 tax intricacies since the illness exploded in the middle of this tax season. These payments just add a new tax filing wrinkle, since what we put on our 2019 returns could be a key part in the relief amount's ultimate dollar calculation. Tony Nitti, a CPA and tax partner with RubinBrown in Aspen, Colorado, has a good preview of what our tax filing actions now could mean to our potential coronavirus payments... Read more →

Most folks have their income taxes, both federal and state, withheld from their paychecks. While your employer (or, in many cases, the payroll company it hires) will take care of the amount that comes out each pay period, it's up to you to make sure it's correct. Filling out your W-4: Your withholding is based on the information you provide on Form W-4. The key factor on this document is your number of withholding allowances. The more allowances you claim, the less tax withheld. The reasoning is that you need the money in hand each payday to take care of... Read more →

Taxes and politics are inextricably linked. Raising them, or even saying you might think about doing so, generally dooms campaigns. Lowering them, of course, is seen as a political plus. And actually giving people real tax money back goes a long way toward a ballot box win. At least that's what some New York incumbents no doubt are hoping happens this election year. Family tax credit rebates: Millions of Empire State residents soon will be $350 richer. Tax rebate checks for that amount are going out this week to New Yorkers who, among other things, had a child younger than... Read more →

Americans are more pessimistic about the economic recovery. A report late last month from the Conference Board, a business research association, found that consumer confidence fell in May to its lowest level since last November. "Consumers are considerably more apprehensive about future business and labor market conditions as well as their income prospects," said Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "Inflation concerns, which had eased last month, have picked up once again." I see those inflation concerns on every grocery shopping trip I make with my mother. She's a senior citizen living primarily on Social Security... Read more →

The midterm election is just two weeks away and Democrats are in good shape because for the last two years every working American has seen his or her federal taxes go down. Say what? That's the reaction of most U.S. taxpayers. But it's true -- that being the statement that federal taxes have been reduced, not the part about Democratic candidates being in good political shape this year. I'm talking about the Making Work Pay tax credit. You remember this. It was the centerpiece of the 2009 Obama stimulus measure and, for 2009 and 2010 tax years, has cut income... Read more →

No increase in 2011 Social Security benefits, but a $250 check possible

2011 will be the second consecutive year that Social Security recipients won't get any cost-of-living increase in their monthly checks. They might, however, get a bit of relief in the form of a $250 payment. First, the bad news about continuing flat Social Security benefits. January 2010 marked the first time since automatic cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, calculations began in 1975 that recipients of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Veterans Administration Pension and Disability Compensation and Railroad Retirement benefits did not receive a hike in their government checks. Continued stagnation of these benefits will continue in 2011. There won't be... Read more →

America's become the great rebate country. In addition to all those tax rebate checks during Dubya's tenure, in these early years of the Obama administration we've gotten lots of energy-related rebates. Remember Cash for Clunkers? Officially known as the Car Allowance Rebate System or CARS, that program last summer enticed more drivers than expected to traded in their gas guzzlers for energy efficient autos. Next came the appliance rebate extravaganza. Here states got a chunk of $300 million appropriated as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA for short, but better known as the February 2009 stimulus bill)... Read more →

April 15 is a distant memory for most taxpayers, but as the IRS works through the millions of tax year 2008 filings it has received, some folks are learning their rebate claims are causing problems. You remember the rebates. They were the $300 to $600 checks that were approved in February 2008, sent out that spring and were supposed to jump start the economy. The amount of those checks was based on 2007 income, but they actually were "prebates" that were accounted for on 2008 returns as the Recovery Rebate Credit. And that's where the trouble started. Folks who didn't... Read more →

My mother will be so happy. Not that she didn't believe me, her perfect daughter (her words, not mine; really!), when I told her back in February that she and her friends would be getting some extra spending money thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. But, like her journalist daughter, my mom likes a little verification on important things like unexpected money from Uncle Sam. SSA on the job: That assurance came yesterday when Mary Glenn-Croft, deputy commissioner of the Social Security Administration, told a Congressional hearing that the new law's payments to retirees would be delivered in... Read more →

For workers, the new Making Work Pay tax credit provision in the just-passed stimulus package will mean a few extra dollars in their paychecks. The latest word is that about $13 a week should start showing up in pay envelopes in June. But what if you don't get a paycheck? That would be the case for retirees and veterans. During last year's stimulus rebates process, these folks got a $300 payout based on the amount of retirement money they received as long as they filed a tax return to let the IRS know of the benefits. That rebate system is... Read more →

The latest economic stimulus package, officially known as H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, is halfway home. The House signed off on the compromise measure this afternoon. The Senate could possibly vote on the bill tonight. As soon as details about what was in the bill, and especially the Making Work Pay credit, started coming out, people started asking questions. Now that the new tax break is imminent, the queries are coming fast and furious. "I already filed my taxes for this year. Do I need to refile now to get this money?" asks Jessica. "Will... Read more →

A new federal financial package to try, once again, to kick start the economy is on pace to become law just before next month's Presidents' Day break. The $303 billion measure, $276 billion of it specifically dealing with taxes, was approved yesterday by the House Ways and Means Committee. House leaders are planning a full vote next Wednesday, Jan.28. Then it goes to the Senate, where pressure is coming from not only colleagues on the other side of Capitol Hill, but also the new Administration to get a bill on President Obama's desk by Feb. 16. Another prepaid credit: So... Read more →

The hubby and I got back home last night from a three-day weekend trip to find our economic stimulus payment had arrived. The mail bonus capped off three great days in the the Dallas area where we took a break from work, ate good food, saw a cool King Tut exhibit and cheered the Cowboys to a win! Our IRS money's arrival is one advantage to filing in October instead of April: The rebate check arrived just in time for holiday shopping! But if you filed earlier than the hubby and I and still haven't received either your expected refund... Read more →

New stimulus plan: tax cuts, not rebates

A second stimulus package is in the planning stages, but don't get your hopes up for a second rebate check. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told the Wall Street Journal today that her party, fresh from capturing the White House and adding to its numbers on Capitol Hill, is considering a two-staged effort to boost the shaky U.S. economy. The outlook right now is for a $60 billion to $100 billion stimulus package, followed early next year by a companion measure that would include a "permanent tax cut." Pelosi said any measure enacted in a lame-duck Congressional session this month would... Read more →

It's still in the just talking about stage, but Capitol Hill is starting to toss around ideas about what might be in a second stimulus package. At yesterday's Ways and Means hearing (previewed here) suggestions included infrastructure projects and more unemployment insurance money. Yep, you guessed it, those were on the wish lists of the state and city officials who testified. Links to the testimony presented at the hearing can be found at this Ways and Means Web page. Support for more rebate checks: But of more interest to most taxpayers are the suggestions from those who didn't make a... Read more →

$266 million. That's how much money the IRS is trying to get to the appropriate taxpayers. Most of that money is from rebate checks that the IRS is having trouble delivering. Yep, this rebate deal is causing all sorts of headaches for the tax agency. First, it didn't send out thousands of checks because the associated returns had mismatched Social Security numbers. This time, though, the tax man really did put the checks in the mail, but they came back because of bad addresses. This happens every year. Usually, people file returns and move, forgetting to let Uncle Sam also... Read more →

October, already a big month for the IRS, is even busier this year. Not only is the agency processing the millions of returns filed on the final Oct. 15 extension date, it also will be processing the economic stimulus payments for those taxpayers. And, oh yeah, it will be sending out some tax rebates that it previously said could not be delivered because of name and Social Security mismatches. A taxpayer by any other name: Although the tax ID number delay isn't a new policy, it took on extra significance this year as folks anxiously awaited their stimulus rebate checks.... Read more →

OK. I've been smacked down by the Fed chief. Testifying before the House Budget Committee this morning, Ben Bernanke said a second economic stimulus package might be warranted. So much for my plea of say it ain't so, not to mention my apparently premature so long to a second rebate. What kind of stimulus? Despite persistent efforts by Budget panel members, the Federal Reserve chairman refused to be pinned down on exactly what should go into any possible legislation that might provide another round of tax rebates. Rather, Bernanke emphasized that any rebate should be timely, targeted and temporary. Neither... Read more →