I Underpaid My Taxes, Will I Still Get A Stimulus Rebate Check?

Reader Adam is wondering if he’ll get a rebate check, considering the fact that he underpaid his taxes for 2007:

I have a question about the Stimulus Checks that we will all be receiving. If we owe money to the IRS from our 2007 tax year, will it be deducted from the stimulus check and the remainder passed on to me? In a normal situation, I would say yes. Considering that the IRS wants you to spend it all to boost the economy and not pay off debt with it, it also makes sense to give it all to me. Do you know what the correct answer is? Thank you for your time.

Well, Adam, the answer is “maybe you will get it and maybe you won’t.” The IRS has the right to withhold payments if you have certain kinds of debts. Student loans in default or unpaid child support, in addition to unpaid tax obligations, are cause for the IRS to confiscate your money and they are generally not too shy about doing so. Whether they are set up to withhold this special payment is anyone’s guess. The IRS initially addressed this issue on their stimulus payment FAQ, but that question has been mysteriously deleted.

Phoung Cat Le at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer has a great tax rebate FAQ, for those of you who have more questions.

Answers to tax rebate questions [Seattle P-I]