Don't File Taxes? You Gotta To Get A Stimulus Check

People who are not normally required to file taxes will have to do so this year if they want a piece of the 2008 economic stimulus rebate. This applies to low-income works, and Social Security, Veterans Affairs Recipients, and Railroad Retirement recipients. In partnership with the IRS, the following sites are offering free tax prep and electronic filing if the only reason you need to files is to receive a stimulus check:

TurboTax
Tax$imple
Online Taxes – OLT
FileYourTaxes
average1040

(Photo:chadwbecks)

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  1. apotheosis says:

    Disenfranchising the underprivileged!

  2. snowpuff says:

    I am a social worker and I have seen a lot of confusion and problems with the free tax programs for low-income filers and the tax rebate.

    - If you have zero income but receive social security, you cannot file electronically. The IRS will bounce the return.

    - Some of the free programs won’t even print out a return if you only have social security benefits and no other income. The program thinks it’s helping you, because it thinks you don’t have to file. Wrong if you want a rebate.

    - You must use a 1040 to declare social security income only, but again, the computer programs fill out 1040EZ forms as normally you don’t have to tell the IRS if you only have social security income.

    - Hopefully these problems have been fixed, but if not, most cities and states have free tax assistance from professional preparers for people with low income. Ask at your local library. It’s very easy to fill out a 1040 if you only have social security income.

    The IRS should have created a one page form for individuals with social security income only to fill out and sign to get rebates…

  3. stinerman says:

    @snowpuff:
    Yes, they should have.
    In fact, I hear they’re working on it now. The final draft should be available on the IRS website sometime in 2092.

  4. The Great Aussie Evil says:

    I can file electronically?

  5. Bladefist says:

    yea, free money for the people who already live here for free. w00h00000.

    people who pay less then 600$ in taxes a year should get 0.

    I would be ok with people who pay like 200 in taxes getting 200 back, but come on, giving people 600 for nothing?

  6. MDSasquatch says:

    Here is a unique option; print the form and fill it out by hand; toss a stamp on the envelope and drop it in the mailbox. Not being able to file electronically for whatever reason should not be to much of an inconvenience

  7. snowpuff says:

    @Bladefist: This isn’t a tax refund. It’s a stimulus program.

  8. johnva says:

    @Bladefist: The stated goal of the money is “economic stimulus”. There is no reason logically why that should be coupled to income. In fact, it might stimulate the economy the MOST when given to the people with the lowest income. It’s not supposed to be just a tax cut.

  9. allstarecho says:

    Here’s an interesting question.. what about someone that filed a full on 1040 but got claimed by someone else. Will they also get a “stimulus” check?

  10. johnva says:

    @allstarecho: Nope. Whoever claims you as a dependent gets $300, though.

  11. gamehendge2000 says:

    This is no different than the IRS asking to see your receipt at the door.

  12. Bladefist says:

    @snowpuff: @johnva:

    I understand that. Regardless what you call it, it is what it is. The government is giving people money. Some of which have not given the government any money. Maybe the economy would be better if government just lowered taxes.

  13. orielbean says:

    Allstarecho – I had the same thing as a college student during the last stimulus/recession cycle. Mom got the 300 or whatever.

  14. AMetamorphosis says:

    @gamehendge2000:

    Big Fat groan … lol

  15. AD8BC says:

    @Bladefist: here here!

    From a fellow Evil Conservative

  16. snowpuff says:

    @Bladefist:

    “I understand that.”

    I don’t think you do. It has nothing to do with whether or not you gave money to the government. Some rich people will pay no taxes in 2007. Some poor people won’t either. Some people are mean. Some people are kind. Some people give up seats for the elderly on the bus. Some people smoke crack. Some people think folks who are disabled or elderly and are on social security are having a big ol’ party, yelling “wahooo I get $12,000 a year to live on!”

    Most of these people and many more will get a stimulus check. The retailers and corporations will not care who it is spending the money on their products and services. Nor will the economy.

  17. Copper says:

    @Bladefist: This stimulus package isn’t really going to help the economy in the way it’s made out to. It’s just Bush’s last ditch resort to try to look nice before leaving office. Lower taxes wouldn’t make it through Congress now…look at the deficits we’ve had. Democrats are only going for this because they want some of the credit for this.

  18. ClayS says:

    @Bladefist:
    It a combination of both concepts. The Republican ideal of lowering taxes, by rebating some income taxes. And the Democratic concept of wealth redistribution by giving rebates to some folks that may not pay income taxes. Regardless, it’s beneficial to the economy and therefore everyone.

  19. ClayS says:

    @Copper:
    Right, Bush waited over 7 years to consider lowering taxes. Oh-kay.

    And the rebates represent lowering taxes at least temporarily. Deficit, shmeficit. Plently of big money is wasted elsewhere. The Iraqi’s should be pumping oil into our tankers for the next ten years.

    And maybe the Democrats really want to help the economy, isn’t that possible?

  20. taka2k7 says:

    @Bladefist: @AD8BC: Why is the answer to always lower taxes? At what point do you stop? When the government has zero income to run on?

    I agree that too high taxes can be bad, but too low taxes can have negative consequences also (e.g. overheating economy–inflation/no services).

    But I digress.

    We’d be better off if the government didn’t spend money it didn’t have. If you want to go to war, then raise taxes or ask people to conserve existing resources that can be diverted to the war effort. And no, a car magnet isn’t supporting the troops.

    But I digress again…

  21. ConsumptionJunkie says:

    i’m in yur taxes

    attractin’ yur auditz

  22. SeaKaySea says:

    I hate it when the wrong words are used. It is only a rebate to those of us who put in something from which to return. It is charity to all else. I’m sure Circuit City will be happy to honor that $100 rebate on that TV I never bought from them. Personally, I like giving to charites…I just like the who and how much forced on me.

  23. Bladefist says:

    @taka2k7: Read the constitution. The national government is only supposed to have limited control and have limited responsibilities. It has grown out of control.

    And while I do like Bush, he has not been a true conservative in his spending. But I also understand its not that simple. You have to pass things through Senate and the House and it takes time.

    Yes we spend too much. I’ve never heard anyone argue with that. But we tax too much. Something has to give. Whether we spend less then lower taxes, or tax less which prompts less spending, I don’t care. Needs to be done.

  24. Bladefist says:

    @AD8BC: It’s hard to be a conservative and involved in discussions on the internet, let the force be with you. Intelligence will prevail!

  25. UpsetPanda says:

    Either people will be all..

    Saving:
    Im in ur ackounts
    Countin ur moneys

    or

    Spending:
    Im in ur wishlis
    Countin ur toyz

  26. UpsetPanda says:

    Whatever anyone’s personal opinions on Bush, this is a solid plan that hopefully, will stimulate the economy. There are plenty of people who are not living paycheck to paycheck, who are managing bills. And there are plenty of people who will use the extra money given to them to buy some toys.

  27. Pro-Pain says:

    @Bladefist anyway…

  28. johnva says:

    @Bladefist: There is absolutely ZERO evidence in recent history that lowered taxes prompts lowered spending. Especially when Republicans are in charge. Republicans represent fiscal irresponsibility, first and foremost.

  29. MyCokesBiggerThanYours says:

    @apotheosis: Get a clue. The bottom 30% of American wage earners pay a net zero in income taxes? Why should they receive a refund or advancement??? Btw the top 10% of wage earners pay 50% of all income taxes collected… next time you are dinner with 4 other people try this. Point at two people and say “you don’t have to pay.” Then point at the two other people and say “You each pay 25%.” And then you can pay the remaining 50%. Or, in true Democrat style, point at the person who makes the most money and say “You pay for the meal for all of us. You don’t need the money anyway.”

  30. johnva says:

    @MyCokesBiggerThanYours: The bottom 30% of wage earners DO pay taxes, though. They pay a much greater percentage of their income in payroll taxes than the top earners do. What do you think of that? Social Security tax is a regressive tax, due to the income cap.

    You “conservatives” sure are fond of simplistic analogies that distort the reality of the situation.

  31. Rusted says:

    @MyCokesBiggerThanYours: Get another clue…..

    Everyone pays taxes, even the least among us. That FICA is a tax, a flat tax (15.3 percent) that gets spent as rapidly as it goes into the treasury and replaced with IOUs. It’s a bite too, as being self employed, I have to pay the employer “contribution” as well. Same goes for Medicaid as well.

    @taka2k7: Its worse then you think. Its whatever money the government takes out of the economy either by taxing or borrowing. Every time they cut taxes, they have to borrow ever more money.

  32. Bladefist says:

    @johnva: a simple google search of “tax bracket” shows your typical liberal economic ignorance.

  33. topgun says:

    Isn’t the stimulus check for people who filed a 2006 Federal return?if so I’m guessing an to be eligible.one who didn’t would have to file an amended return.

  34. johnva says:

    @Bladefist: Seriously, you are really making yourself look foolish. Do you even know what “payroll tax” means? “Tax brackets” are not applicable to FICA tax. They only apply to income tax, which I was NOT talking about.

  35. johnva says:

    @topgun: No. They will determine it from your 2007 tax return.

  36. WV.Hillbilly says:

    @snowpuff:
    You’re wrong.
    It is an advance on your next tax refund.

    If you don’t pay income taxes you shouldn’t get a check.
    The poor don’t pay their fare share. FICA & Medicare don’t count.

  37. modenastradale says:

    @MyCokesBiggerThanYours: Are we really doing the progressive income tax debate again? It makes sense to have high taxes at the upper end because rich people consume massive amounts of public resources to protect their vast assets.

    It makes sense to have little tax at the low end because anything more would throw low-wage earners into abject poverty, creating an even more severely disequal distribution of wealth than we already have, destroying social cohesion. (And in the end, capital owners might just have to make up the slack anyways — many would elect to do nothing rather than work for abject poverty, leaving those low-wage jobs unfilled.)

  38. modenastradale says:

    @modenastradale: Oops. Hit “send” too early.

    I was going to say: the problem is not the concept of progressive taxation. The real problem is that the boundary lines have been drawn in such a way that the middle class is being squeezed out of existence. People who earn 75k in expensive areas (servicing large student debt and/or providing for families) are being slapped with policies originally intended for the rich — even though they’re just a paycheck away from bankruptcy.

  39. johnva says:

    @WV.Hillbilly: First off, there are tax credits that function as essentially a “negative income tax” already, like the EITC. You can get these credits refunded even if you don’t make enough money to owe taxes. The tax credit this “rebate” is against functions in a similar way for those people.

    Also, why on earth do FICA and Medicare taxes not “count” as taxes? They are taxes just like any other. The poor pay a disproportionate share of them.

  40. Mills says:

    @WV.Hillbilly: According to the IRS website, the stimulus checks are non-taxable income and won’t count against your 2008 tax rebate or increase the amount you owe.

    Doesn’t sound like an advance to me.

  41. dirtleg says:

    The entire bill for the stimulus package will amount to less than a month of paying for the war. It probably amounts to less than a years contracts to KBR, Mr. Cheney’s good buddies. And by the way, many of those folks living off social security these days are members of the “greatest generation” that republicans like to pretend they care so much about. Course many of them are veterans, which we know conservatives have no use for. Once a vet hangs up his guns and ammo, the republicans consider them dead weight. Walk a mile, dude, before you start deciding what others need or don’t need.

    Douche bags.

  42. allstarecho says:

    The mortgage companies appreciate Bush helping you make a payment on your house. Thanks.

  43. MyCokesBiggerThanYours says:

    @johnva: Learn to read – I said income tax. Look it up at irs.gov. The poorest of the poor get more money in the annual refund than they paid if they have children. KNOW YOUR FACTS. The rest of their money goes to social services – which they seem to want so they shouldn’t be complaining. And if you want to bring up up social security – blame unionized government employees. THey don’t pay into social security so they aren’t paying into the program the poor need and want.

  44. MyCokesBiggerThanYours says:

    @Rusted: Learn to read. I said income tax look it up at irs.gov

  45. MyCokesBiggerThanYours says:

    @modenastradale: Hey – did I say progressive taxation was unfair or wrong. NO. I said the poor don’t deserve an income tax refund or advance because they don’t pay income taxes. Thats it.

    But you also have to into account the poor arent paying luxury taxes, real estate taxes, (which pays for schools) and a multitude of other taxes associated with ownership and wealth.

    And I am sorry you hate the wealthy because its the wealthy that provide jobs, infrastructure like roads, electricity, and water; investment capital… etc. Not to mention the wealthy assume all the economic risk. Bigger risk equals bigger rewards.

  46. Poisonthescene says:

    @Bladefist: It’s a proven fact that people of the lower class think money is meant to be spent, middle class people think money is to be saved, and upper class people believe money is to be invested. Now if this STIMULUS PLAN is to work the way it’s supposed to, why the hell wouldn’t they give it to the people who will spend it?

    @MyCokesBiggerThanYours: johnva’s right, who pays more dollars doesn’t matter, the lower classes pay a much higher PERCENTAGE of their yearly income. So what if the upper class is paying 50% of the taxes? the top 1% pulls in 57% of the national income, the top 10% make more money per year than the 37 poorest COUNTRIES in the WORLD.

    Did you know that it would cost less than $4 billion a year to make sure everyone in the world had adequate health care? And every year in Europe, people spend a grand total of $6 billion dollars on ICE CREAM.

    Don’t give me any sob stories for the rich, I won’t be shedding any tears.

  47. darkclawsofchaos says:

    woah, huh?! free money, I thought you had to earn a minimum of $3000 to get a check? if there is no minimum, I got like $3.00 interest from my savings account, so even if tey take a dollar for social security, I still win at $300?

  48. johnva says:

    @MyCokesBiggerThanYours: I DID read. I’m aware of what an income tax is, thanks. I was just pointing out that it’s incorrect to say that the poor do not pay taxes, because they do pay Social Security tax (which is a regressive tax), and sales taxes (which are regressive taxes). You were focusing solely on income tax because it suited your BS argument best. You are also clearly the one who has no understanding of economics, because you seemingly do not understand that rent (paid by the “poor”) INCLUDES the cost of real estate taxes paid by the property owner. So yes, the poor DO pay real estate taxes…they just pay them indirectly because the real estate taxes are passed on by their landlords. Just like corporate taxes get passed on to customers.

    These checks are for “economic stimulus”. The amount of tax paid is irrelevant to the discussion. As I already showed, there are other tax credits that are fully refundable regardless of income tax liability. This is just another of that type of tax credit. You can disagree with me all you want, but your “theories” do not hold water.

  49. dweebster says:

    What about the poor *rich* people – where’s THEIR stimulus package? It’s been what – five or six years since uncle Bush gave them their last big goodie bag of free money, and it certainly was more than a measly six hundred dollars.

    $600 bucks probably won’t even buy a bottle of decent wine for them. We should cry, soon the rich will be drinking “Two Buck Chuck” too. :(

  50. dweebster says:

    @MyCokesBiggerThanYours: …I dunno know about that, haven’t seen too many top hats and monocles worn by the road crews lately.

    The real philanthropists are those who work for less than it takes to live on.

    Look behind where that “investment capital” came from and you’ll likely find plenty of crooks, even if their ilk financed laws to make their behavior legal.

  51. Bladefist says:

    @Poisonthescene: $4 billion for everyone in the world? Huh thats weird. Cuz last time I checked, and it’s been a while, there is 6 billion people in the world. Less then a dollar per person? That must be awesome health care!!!! woohoo I want that. Once again, percentage wise, the poor pay less in both percentage and dollars in income tax.

    Now you take into affect property tax, sales tax, etc, then sure, they pay more. But you’re preaching to the choir. I want less taxes, for everyone. We have enough taxes to make your head spin, and its not fair, and it further represses the poor from moving up into a high class. Thats all taxes do, repress you. Some people think thats the purpose of them. I’m not all that paranoid, I just see the economics of it and it financially holds people back, and it has held me back on somethings as well. If I didnt have to pay property tax, I could get a much nicer/bigger house.

  52. MYarms says:

    Instead of giving handouts to the people of this country, they should take some of that 12 billion a month that’s going to Iraq and stimulate our economy with that.

  53. daniinpa says:

    @snowpuff:

    You said “- You must use a 1040 to declare social security income only, but again, the computer programs fill out 1040EZ forms as normally you don’t have to tell the IRS if you only have social security income.”

    Where did you get that from? According to the 1040ez manual, if your social security benefits are not taxable, you can use 1040ez.

  54. SOhp101 says:

    @snowpuff: Yes you can file electronically–you just don’t mention any W-2′s that state you earned $0 in income. If you do, you would have to file by mail.

    People who comment here are so dumb–you don’t automatically get $600 back. You have to earn at least $3,000 to get $300 back, and the amount increases up to $600 if you meet the specific qualifications.

    @MyCokesBiggerThanYours: You should be knighted as the super idiot for this thread because of your belief that all tax rebates/refunds should be progressive–that turns the tax system into a regressive one as well.

    Truth is that the poor pay the least tax but spend nearly all their money to survive; the rich pay only a moderate amount of tax because of all the loopholes they can jump through, then the middle class gets screwed because they earn too much to receive assistance but too little to qualify for the loopholes.

    Your griping is like going to a bakery and complaining about how the poor people are taking all the samples while caring less about the rich people that just go behind the counter and take tray after tray of the goods. Get some perspective.

  55. SOhp101 says:

    btw, the ‘specific qualifications’ for getting $600 instead of $300 is that you paid $600 or more in taxes. Not a very hard one to meet, but those on disability, retirement, or the lowest of the low class will only get $300.

  56. AronneScoot says:

    I have asked everyone and everyone says i dont know if you owe the government back taxes does that mean you don’t get a stimulus check?