Your Economic Stimulus Payment Questions Answered By The IRS

The IRS has a new and improved stimulus payment FAQ up and running on their website, so if you have additional questions you should check it out. Of note, the IRS has now definitively said that those who owe back taxes, or have delinquent child support payments or student loans will have their payments offset.

Here’s another common question…

Q. I have moved since filing my 2007 tax return. How will my payment reach me?

A. You should file a Form 8822 with the IRS and a change of address notice with the U.S. Postal Service. This will ensure your check is sent to your new address. Without your current address, the check could be returned to the IRS as undeliverable.

Economic Stimulus Payments: Most Frequently Asked Questions [IRS]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Q: I’ve never paid taxes to Uncle Sam before nor made enough $$$ to. Can I have an “Economic Stimulus” check anyways? I promise that I’ll stimulate the [beer] economy with it impulsively. With us college brats there’s much lower risk it’ll towards long-term savings or covering existing grown-up expenses like families or mortgage payments.

  2. catskyfire says:

    If you filed a return, you get the stimulus. If you didn’t make enough to be taxed, you still needed to file for the stimulus.

  3. Major-General says:

    @catskyfire: Unless like myself your earned income was too low. And I can’t count my royalty income.

    No economic stimulus for me, can’t have, not mine.

  4. chiieddy says:

    @catskyfire: Only if your taxed revenue was $3000 or more. Otherwise, you don’t qualify for the minimum $300 single or $600 married filed jointly amount. The maximums are $600 single and $1200 filing jointly with $300 credits for each child under 17.

  5. Brien says:

    Q. I chose direct deposit for my 2007 tax refund but also requested a refund anticipation loan (RAL) from my preparer. How does that affect my stimulus payment?

    A. Taxpayers who use Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs) or enter into any other loans or financial agreements with a tax professional, such as agreeing to have return preparation fees deducted from their refunds, cannot receive their stimulus payments by direct deposit and instead will get paper checks based on the paper check distribution schedule.

    God, that pisses me off. Thanks for telling me a few days before I expected to get it, IRS! Why was this info not available sooner?

  6. sdennett says:


    Also, you cannot be claimed as a dependent on anyone else’s tax returns. Luckily for me this is the last year that will I will be claimed as one, so I should get the money next year instead. There are still a lot of people out there though that won’t get it this year or next year and whose parents won’t get an additional child credit.

  7. dollywould says:

    @Brien: A coworker learned this today. Her last two SSN digits were 02, so she’d been wondering what was up.

    I almost did this with Tax Act this year, until I saw the extra $14.95 they were charging to have the fee deducted from my refund. What is up with that? I whipped out the CC instead and got my stimulus deposited today.

  8. ablestmage says:

    Q: Will I have to repay the stimulus package if I do not make enough money to qualify for a tax return when filing in 2009?

  9. Lea9017 says:

    What they failed to see was a everyone that was 17 years old and made over 3000 got nothing because they were still dependents but their parents could claim them as children

  10. Lea9017 says:

    couldn’t claim them*

  11. bms says:

    Where is my check?

  12. @Bay State Darren: Are your parents claiming you as a dependent?

  13. cmp179 says:

    I actually went to their FAQ yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon to try to find out why I don’t have the money yet. My SSN ends with 05 and I filed on time, sending my return on April 15. I thought that meant I would have the money by May 2. I just found out that these dates that they are giving us only apply if they have processed your return by the 15th. Am I the only one surprised by this?

  14. Mr. Feller says:

    wait wait wait. I’m slightly confused about one thing now. you say that if you have delinquent child support payments or student loans, you won’t receive your stimulus check. if the student loans are delinquent? so, my loans are in good standing and I qualify in every other way…will I get my check or will Sallie Mae? There’s nothing in the IRS FAQ about student loans…

    …thanks for all the helpful info about this that you guys are providing…very nice!

  15. HIV 2 Elway says:

    I got mine last week and plan to do some serious stimulating of the American steel drum industry this weekend.

  16. Myownheroine says:


    No. I expected to get mine alot earlier as well. It should’ve been more clear.

  17. tmlfan81 says:

    “God, that pisses me off. Thanks for telling me a few days before I expected to get it, IRS! Why was this info not available sooner?”

    And Intuit assumes no liability for what happened. In their defense the Gov’t. just kind of dropped this on our doorstep and that was that. They really didn’t give two shits how people got their money or what steps consumers would need to take in order to take advantage of the stimulus.

    When I spoke with an IRS agent on the phone last night, he opened up rather nicely and seemed empathetic to my plight. He understood what happened and then quickly reminded me that I had a RAL – a refund anticipation loan. SBB&T fronted the return fees for me so I could get my tax return.

    It wasn’t so much what he said as opposed to how he said it. Sure, he could have also simply stated that the IRS didn’t have my actual bank account and routing numbers and couldn’t do a deposit into my account even if they wanted to.

    What I love, love reading is how on the other stimulus article another Consumerist reader is spouting some questionable information about how the IRS is somehow going to magically cut a check for the rebate [on 5/9 in my case] because they would have attempted and failed at direct deposit on the SBB&T account.

    The IRS agent I spoke to assured me that hands down, there was no such plan in motion and June was when I would be paid.

    Don’t believe everything you read online. Call directly and get the information yourself. Even then, take it with a grain of salt.

  18. johnva says:

    What everyone should take away from all this is to avoid RALs and other expensive scams put out by tax preparers like the plague. You really shouldn’t have to pay someone to get back your tax refund.

  19. tcp100 says:

    @johnva: Here here. Turbotax is cheap and easy. Why do people go to places like H&R block? If you have complex taxes, you should have an accountant – not weekenders that they employ at H&R Block and the like.

    The whole thing about the tax code being horribly onerous is a bit exaggerated. Really, it’s not that hard to do your taxes yourself – and if you’re owed, you’ll get a refund in about two weeks with Direct Deposit.

    Stop messing with RALs and stuff! They’re a bad idea.

  20. greatgoogly says:

    The other “gotcha” is that if you owed money and paid through a direct debit from your checking account, unless you also filled out a direct deposit form you will get a paper check. I did my taxes through Tax Act and paid direct debit from my checking account, but now come to find out that instead of getting the money this week I have to wait until about the 4th of July. There was no prompt in the TAx Act software saying if you want the stimulus check direct deposited you needed to fill out a separate form even though you were giving them your routing and account number.

  21. Shinzou says:

    How do I get to speak with a human at the IRS? I’ve tried calling to figure out why my husband and I only received $600 this morning when we made over $3,000 and under $175,000 last year. Everything is automated.

  22. tande says:

    @johnva: Not to mention the absolutely insane intrest that they tack on to give you an “instant refund”.

    I e-filed and got my rebate direct deposited. Took less then a week to wrap the whole thing up. I can’t imagine a situation where I’d pay 100+% intrest to get the money 3 days before I’d get it anyways.

  23. johnva says:

    @tcp100: RALs are a ridiculous product, and I really don’t understand their seeming popularity at all unless people are just being deceived into believing it’s their only option or something. It’s an exorbitantly expensive loan that carries almost no risk to the company making the loan (meaning they are almost pure profit). If you really can’t wait a couple of weeks for your money, then how can you afford to overpay your taxes in the first place? Reduce your withholding. Or are the main consumers of these things people who have negative income tax liability from the EITC? And if you’re that poor, you can afford the RAL fees even LESS.

    RAL = total scam.

    That being said, some people that used Turbotax and such got screwed too due to some of the other problems mentioned here that didn’t involved RALs. But to be fair the government didn’t give the tax prep companies much time to get things ready.

  24. johnva says:

    @Shinzou: It’s not just income that determines what you get. Read the FAQ that this article links to.

  25. Osi says:


    Exactly. So your saying people shouldn’t believe you? I agree. Now your trying to pit two different IRS “agents” against each other. lol.

    Go sprout your questionable information else where ;)

    Of course, there’s the possibility that the IRS’s left hand doesn’t know what it’s right hand is doing …

  26. tcp100 says:

    @johnva: I’ve always thought of RALs targeting the same people as payday loans, pawn shops, and those “cash for your car title” places.

    Usually it’s the same folks who consider their tax refund some kind of bonus out of the sky, and go and blow it. Granted, this is out of lack of education on the issue – nothing about the folks themselves.

    RALs target the people who they hurt the most, of course.

    I still don’t know why this stuff isn’t taught in schools.

  27. johnva says:

    @tcp100: I still don’t know why this stuff even NEEDS to be taught in the schools. It’s almost totally self-evident that RALs are a scam. Personally, I think they’re an even bigger scam than most of the other things you mentioned like payday loans or pawn shops. At least in those cases the lender is taking a real risk that they should be compensated for (whether their fees/interest are too high is another question).

  28. ByeBye says:

    Sucks all of my money will not be coming to me…oh well

  29. Osi says:

    I don’t know, maybe that’s the majority. For example SBBT charged $25 for their “services”, while HR Block charge between $200 – $400, depending on the year.

    So if we take $25 (turbo tax) + $25 SBBT, thats -$50 just to file taxes. Compare this to the free efiling, or the >$200 HR Block ….

    If a person know how to do their own taxes and have time to spare reading up on all the tax law changes every year, then eFiling might be the way to go.

    For the average person who do not have the time slaving over tax codes, Turbo Tax (and the like), might be the way to go.

    In the above case, you have the choice of either paying up front, or paying out of the refund at 2x the cost. How much is convince (sp?) worth?

    If we’re talking about education, then everybody would be doing their own taxes, and would fill out the W4s appropriately so there would be no paying and no refund …. However, with the ever changing laws, you’d have to be a major tax guy to pull it off.

  30. tmlfan81 says:


    “Exactly. So your saying people shouldn’t believe you? I agree. Now your trying to pit two different IRS “agents” against each other. lol.

    Take everything that you read or hear with a grain of salt. The majority of the information that I’ve read, seen, and been told contradicts what you posted. Your post contradicts what I stated, as well as the IRS FAQ.

    Go sprout your questionable information else where ;)

    I’d rather not, honestly. I just want to know one way or the other, without some fuckhead on the other end demonstrating how much of an ass he is.

    Of course, there’s the possibility that the IRS’s left hand doesn’t know what it’s right hand is doing …”

    That happens in any organization – and with this being a hot button issue for low income families, I’m sure they [are not] being trained to handle the situation in a professional manner.

  31. tande says:


    I’m sure that many consumerist readers wouldn’t of fallen for this one but I just got to this FAQ:

    Q. I chose to have my tax refund deposited onto a “stored value card” or debit card through the professional tax preparer I used. Will my stimulus payment be directly deposited onto that same stored value card or debit card account?

    A. Yes, unless you requested a refund anticipation loan (RAL) through your tax professional or the stored value card or debit card account has been closed, in which case you will receive your economic stimulus payment by paper check. Because the IRS must wait until the money is returned, this process may take several weeks.

  32. Osi says:

    Only a disorganized business or government agency would not know what both hands are doing :)

    So, to recap. I relayed what the IRS told me, and you relayed what the IRS told you, both over the phone. If you run a search on google, you would see that the IRS did the exact same thing to a number of people. Each, different information. Some what they told you, some what they told me, and others that we haven’t heard before.

    So before assuming that everything contradicts what I say, try searching.

    With that said, Yes, the IRS just (as in yesterday), updated their FAQ, providing information that CONTRADICTS their previous statements. This is called cover up, and is well known in the government section as well as corporations.

    This also means they got a clue and decided to organize themselves.

  33. Carencey says:

    Ah. There was the answer to my question, finally — I kept seeing info for those who filed AND had theirs processed by April 15, or info for those who filed late, but no info for those of us who were in that gap where we filed on time, but didn’t get processed by April 15. six weeks. :( I guess I can assume that my return was at least processed by the time my check cleared the bank?

    @greatgoogly: Turbo Tax did indeed include that option, so I hope I did everything right — sent a paper check (didn’t want to pay the fee) for what I owed the IRS, but submitted the direct deposit info for the stimulus check.

  34. tmlfan81 says:

    @Jinx: I didn’t assume that everything contradicts what you stated – that would be making an ass out of you and me.

    I searched with Google, Yahoo!, Alta Vista, carrier pigeons, and the like. The majority of information that I have seen [read: all] states that they would not be running drafts on the SBB&T accounts first, then drafting a check the day the direct deposit was to be transmitted.

    I really don’t care any more other than just wanting to know what the 100% true and final answer is.

  35. xrodion says:

    myself, I found it weierd according to my last two ss# is 90, and I already got mine today and when I go to that IRS website it says it is scheduled to be in the bank by May 12 or the latest on May 17. Stil, I got mine today and I found it weird. Whatever, I already know on what I am going to spend it on my credit card bills. Even, though I have no interest on them. Since, I pay them in full every month.

  36. @tmlfan81: So, the reason why some–like me–are not getting their rebates when “promised” is that the IRS does not have their account and routing numbers?


  37. navymedic says:

    Well now… lets see. i was supposed to get my refund on the 9th, it never came, then i tried calling them, HA thats a joke, its all automated and it says they are experiencing high call volume all day, and none of the FAQ are what i need to know? so what now. im just supposed to sit around a wait thinking that the government is going to do something it actually says its going to do? yeah right! I want my money, i earned it!