Economic Stimulus Reminder Notes Are Here!

We recently received our “Economic Stimulus Payment Notice,” and it seems worth far less than the $41.8 million the Treasury spent on printing and mailing. The letter contained no surprises, but did extend the tantalizing possibility that we would receive “a notice and additional information shortly before the payment is made.” Check out the full letter and a handy eligibility chart, after the jump.

http://consumermediallc.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/payment_letter_text-thumb.jpg?w=494&h=699

The IRS also included this chart to determine eligibility for the tax credit:
http://consumermediallc.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/payment_bottom-thumb.jpg?w=494&h=323

No surprises, but if you want more information, check out our revised and extended economic stimulus explanation post.

PREVIOUSLY: IRS Reminds You To File Your Tax Return In Order To Receive Stimulus Payment
$600 Rebates Are A Tax Credit Advance

Comments

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  1. ChuckECheese says:

    Why all the marketing? Most people don’t need reminders that they have money coming, do they? Is this some sort of republican bribe before the election?

  2. snoop-blog says:

    @ChuckECheese: they figured that if it works on them, it should work on us.

  3. ClayS says:

    Yes, you bribe a Republican to explain the notice to you if you don’t usually file a tax return and are unable to understand it’s content.

  4. Islandkiwi says:

    I think the reasoning behind it is to encourage people to file their taxes…no tax return, no check. There’s a lot of people out there that don’t file and operate on a cash-only basis…perhaps this is their attempt to bring them into the fold.

  5. Islandkiwi says:

    Wait…if they’re sending you the letter you’re already in their system as a taxpayer…so this is an enormous waste of money.

    As an aside, you know how people can request an extension on filing their tax return? I’m wondering if there will be a significant drop in those requests this year. After all, the sooner you file, the sooner you get your check.

  6. Buran says:

    I got this yesterday but didn’t bother to open it, just tossed it on the “to look at later since it’s either junk or a bill from someone I get ebills from” pile. Now I won’t even bother opening it and it goes straight into the recycle bin along with the junk mail.

    I should be getting $600 as I used the calculator on the IRS site the other week and typed in all the actual info from my return.

    It would be nice if they could have printed the amount of your check (without disclosing any private data) on the notice, since they had to individualize them with your mailing address, or at least pointed you to the page where the calculator is, but nope…

  7. rpm773 says:

    I earn too much and therefore won’t get anything. That’s too bad, because my debtless self was going to use it to stimulate the economy.

    Now some poor loser is probably going to use it to pay off credit card debt, ie paying off something that already stimulated the economy, ergo having little positive effect on the economy.

  8. ClayS says:

    @Buran:
    True, a lot of junk mail lately seems to use that “tear off this strip first” packaging.

  9. mgy says:

    Reminds me of an old Lewis Black routine:
    “They spent 1.8 million to let us know that our check was in the mail. Here’s an idea…include the check with the letter, asshole!”

    I, however, am still allowing my mother to claim me as a dependent so she gets the tax benefits, so despite me being fully self-sufficient, I don’t get a dime. Laaaame.

    Maybe she’ll mail me that $300.

  10. Buran says:

    @ClayS: I knew this particular letter wasn’t junk mail as usually defined, but I also knew that they were going to be sending out these idiotic wastes of paper that told us nothing that isn’t already known from the media and didn’t actually include a check or confirmation of direct deposit. Therefore, I knew I didn’t need to open it immediately, and now I don’t need to open it at all.

    I hate that fake-official junk mail. They want you to think it’s something important. But maybe it’s just me but I’m even LESS likely to buy from someone who actively tries to deceive me, and their “notice” still winds up in the junk pile.

  11. WraithSama says:

    @Buran:

    Indeed. This reminds me of an old rant that used to be found on Penny Arcade. Something about official-looking packages in cardboard sleeves that would come in the mail with a name like Urgent Express on it in writing made to look similar to FedEx’s logo. The word “urgent” was all over the envelope on both sides.

    The mailing label on the back of the package was filled out in what looked like actual handwriting, but all instances of each letter were exactly the same, so apparently the “Mr. Johnson” (or whoever) that filled it out was the name of a Laser Jet printer. I recall Tycho quipping that, apparently, legitimacy is a font now.

    The payload of the envelope? A credit card offer, of course.

  12. Ragman says:

    Over 40 million to send this crap out? What a freakin’ waste of money. Guess they decided to through a little business to the paper industry and the USPS.

  13. Ragman says:

    Edit: that should have been “throw”, not “through”.

  14. Dobernala says:

    @Ragman: its stimulating the economy man!!

  15. Orngbliss says:

    So, if they hadn’t wasted 40 million to send us this reminder, would our stimulus checks have been bigger?

  16. Riddar says:

    @Orngbliss: Yes, by all of 32 cents per household.

  17. witeowl says:

    @ChuckECheese: Yes. But I thought that was clear quite some time ago.

    “Republicans are evil! I’m voting anything but GOP!”
    “Here’s $600, courtesy of your Republican president.”
    “Oh, gosh, I guess they’re not all that bad.”

  18. ChuckECheese says:

    @witeowl: & @snoop-blog: If you give me money, I’ll be your friend.

  19. Natheo says:

    I love how I’m making near 20k a year living with my parents and going to school, but I’m not getting one red cent. Oh well, I was just gonna put it towards paying off my car anyways.

    But some lowlife making 3k a year and living on welfare or something will still recieve 300 dollars.

    That’s extremely irritating.

  20. thetango says:

    Natheo: Huh? I thought everyone was eligible for the rebate unless you make _too much_. Beyond that the only way you aren’t supposed to be eligible is if you didn’t file taxes for 2007.

  21. Brie says:

    @Buran: I too almost chucked it due to the “Important Message Enclosed! Official Business! Penalty If Opened By Wrong Person! Do Not Throw Away!” crap.

  22. ClayS says:

    @Natheo:
    If you are claimed as a dependent on your parent’s return, they will receive a $300 rebate.

    BTW, not everyone who is poor is a lowlife.

  23. Buran says:

    @MissedTheExit: Well like I said I knew it was real. But, sadly, I also see the same officious-sounding phrases on junk mail too so that too is not a real way to tell if it’s junk mail. I know a lot of the tricks and I still occasionally wind up opening junk.

  24. ratnerstar says:

    @thetango: Get your parents to stop claiming you as a dependent. Remember, this check is an advance on a 2008 rebate; you can always get it when you file in 2009.

    Also, stop assuming poor people are automatically lowlifes. Bad for karma.

  25. Karl says:

    I’ve already filed my taxes, and in fact, I received my rebate a few
    weeks ago. Yet, they sent me this reminder to file my taxes a few days
    ago. Surely they can figure out that I already have.

  26. Karl says:

    Er, I received my refund, not rebate.

  27. levenhopper says:

    They sent this letter to my grandpa, and it got fowarded to our house, like the rest of his mail does.

    There’s only one problem: my grandpa died in November. And the IRS knows about it. The name on the postcard/letter/whatever said “Nathan Leven**** Dscd”.

  28. TonyTriple says:

    Enjoy your hair-of-the-dog hush money you *mumble* *mumble*…*mumble*

    no, I don’t qualify for it.

  29. spanktastic says:

    I appreciate the government’s early warning on the check that the fine print says I may or may not receive. Not only did they waste our tax dollars for something that has been on every news channel and in every paper in recent days, but it also alerted my local postman to watch for that check. (He’s also been in the news lately for stealing gift cards and checks out of the mail.)

  30. spanktastic says:

    What affect is this hush money going to have on next year’s taxes? Nothing involving the government is ever free.

  31. ExcelsiorDDZ says:

    Let’s see. I am STUCK with Propane for heat here in the COLD NorthEast and my local company decided to fill my tank when it was not needed causing a NEW bill of ~$800 at $3.02/gallon. It looks like my propane company will be getting a lot of this money in my area instead of the people.

  32. descend says:

    @ExcelsiorDDZ:

    Your propane company has employees.

  33. LissaKay says:

    @spanktastic:
    Direct deposit is a marvelous way of foiling thieving postal carriers. It saves yet another 39 cents of tax dollars from being wasted too.

  34. Thorkel says:

    Yeah, I got mine. Freaking asinine beyond belief – they spent millions and millions of dollars to tell us they’re going to give us money. I guess doing things for free just isn’t good enough for the spending addicts in Washington. And when the “incentive” things come through, are they simply going to give us $600 off our taxes? No, they’re going to spend more and more millions to mail out checks. When in God’s name are we going to get SOMEONE in Washington who has two working neurons and a clue?

  35. Lea9017 says:

    I’m sick of hearing about this because if you can be claimed as a dependent (which i can) you don’t get anything. And my parents don’t get anything for me either because i no longer qualify as a child

  36. Buran says:

    @ExcelsiorDDZ: If you didn’t order it, can’t you demand that they take it back at their expense and cancel the bill?

  37. sly100100 says:

    For those who are interested here is a link to the payment schedule put out by the IRS.
    [www.irs.gov]
    Payments start in May.

  38. HalOfBorg says:

    Waste of money – just like at my work. Every year they print out a plea for the United Way or something.

    400+ employees.

    1) They put one in the envelope with our paycheck.
    2) They send one to each employee at work.
    3) They mail to our homes – not once but TWICE.

    Idiots. Stick one in paycheck – everyone opens that. SEND THE CHARITY THE MONEY SAVED. Morons.

  39. autoclavicle says:

    @Lea9017: That’s funny, because I’m tired of hearing dependents complaining about how they won’t get money back!

    I don’t think people sponging off their parents should be putting other people down for being “poor” simply for not having the same spineless baby boomer parents as them.

  40. TVGenius says:

    Wow, we got ours two weeks ago, right about the time they were still making a stink about this,

  41. dweebster says:

    Good to see that SOMEONE is doing their part to keep the Post Office in business by mailing loads of useless paper to every American citizen. Frankly I’d rather have had them save the tree and put the extra buck or two on my “rebate” check.

    Whoopie – $600… about a month’s HMO medical premiums or a few tanks of gas. The economy’s gonna take off like a rocketship now…..

  42. dweebster says:

    @Lea9017: …some would beg to differ…

    (sorry, couldn’t resist!)

  43. @ExcelsiorDDZ: put a lock on your propane input valve and only unlock it after calling your provider for a fillup (and you know the per gal charge). and disconnect the antenna (if your has one) so they can’t pickup the wireless signal from the street.

  44. Don’t forget that it’s taxable, and net year you’re gonna have to pay tax on it.

  45. MissTic says:

    If you use direct deposit for your 2007 refund, you will have this stimulus deposited directly. No need to worry about a check getting lost in the mail.

  46. @ChuckECheese:
    “Most people don’t need reminders that they have money coming, do they?”

    Never underestimate the ignorance of the masses. I work with a guy who was completely oblivious to the stimulus payment until the topic came up at work last Thurs. He is one of these guys who lives like he’s still 15 years old, is in debt up to his eyeballs and is overall totally uninformed and irresponsible. He probably wasn’t even going to file his taxes until he heard about the rebate (and, knowing him, I doubt he even will now). Its sad to speculate but I’m sure there are a few million other aimless nincompoops out there exactly like him.

  47. Patranoid says:

    @levenhopper

    The last time the government did this, my mother had died not too
    long before and had paid taxes for the period covered by the rebate. If
    the estate for your grandfather files a tax return for whatever he
    earned in 2007 prior to his death, the estate might be able to get the
    rebate check. Contact the IRS to confirm this.

    Someone who does not normally file needs to fill out a 1040A with
    “Subsidy Payment” written at the top above the name in order to get the
    payment. (I know this because I’m trying to get the rebate for my
    elderly aunt, who doesn’t normally file, and I called the IRS.)

    It’s a ghoulish subject, and I’m sorry for your loss, but I’ve learned from previous experiences, so I might as well share.

    (Another fun piece of death and government info: because social
    security is paid out in advance, if you die at the end of the month,
    your estate has to return the check for that month. You have to live
    the whole month to get it. If you die at the beginning of the month,
    your estate gets to keep it. This knowledge comes from having one
    parent die on the last day of a month and another die on the first of
    the month.)

  48. murray2255 says:

    Another thing to remember is that you’re not guaranteed $600. I’m allowed to take an education credit for finally going back to school and getting that degree (yay), which I can calculate on my taxes one of two ways: either before my AGI is determined (resulting in most of my federal and state taxes being refunded) or after (resulting in some of my state and ALL of my federal coming back to me). Even though my AGI was $25,000 (not bad for a full time student), taking the credit after the AGI resulted in a larger net tax refund yet only a $300 stimulus check, versus $600 the other way.

    Lesson: they only want to give back money that you give in. Too many people I know are counting on $600 as a hard and fast rule, but I know that they’re going to be using every tactic possible get all their taxes back.

  49. zingbot says:

    @MissTic: That is great news. I was wondering how they’d handle it.

  50. raskolnik says:

    Is there any way to change the address the IRS has on file for me? I’m going to be moving in the next couple months and don’t want to miss out on this. Mail forwarding can be kind of shakey a lot of times, so I’d much rather make the change on the IRS’s end.

  51. Buran says:

    @levenhopper: I am pretty sure that if you’re dead, your relatives are supposeed to still file a return for you but I’m not sure how that works.

  52. Buran says:

    @raskolnik: If you filed using direct deposit for your refund (if any), hold that account open til the deposit shows up since it’ll go in there.

  53. dsgnomite says:

    IRS site said that your 2007 return must be received and PROCESSED by the 15th. How long does it take to process your return with the IRS? I imagine some last minute files who wait to mail their returns won’t get their rebates.

  54. StarWhores says:

    Already Filed my returns and got my refunds back.
    Come on big GOP give daddy his payoff then fuck off.
    This is the first GOP administration that I’ve witnessed create a total clusterfuck of this country in my lifetime. I’m embarassed….
    I don’t necessarily think anyone else will do better but we can hope.

    by ratnerstar at 05:58 PM on 03/22/08
    Reply by Email

    @thetango:
    stop assuming poor people are automatically lowlifes. Bad for karma.
    Note to self….

  55. autoclavicle says: