Will You Get a Stimulus Payment?

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You’ve heard the news—to stimulate the US economy, the government will send you a check in a month or so.

Or will it?

Here are six reasons you might not get a stimulus payment—and one why it might be less than you think.

1. Not filing a return. To get the payment, you have to send a 2007 income tax form to the Internal Revenue Service, even if you have no taxable income.

2. Not enough qualifying income and no tax liability. Qualifying income consists of your wages, net self-employment income, nontaxable combat pay, Social Security benefits, and certain Railroad Retirement benefits and veterans’payments. If the total is less than $3,000 and your net income tax liability is zero, you get no payment.

3. Dependency status. Children or students who can be claimed on a parent’s return aren’t eligible for a separate check.

4. No Social Security Number (SSN). An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number doesn’t count. You need a valid SSN. If you file jointly with your spouse, both of you must have a valid SSN. Want to get a payment for your kids? In addition to the age requirement (they have to be under age 17) and other restrictions, they’ll need valid SSNs as well.

5. Not a US citizen. Are you a nonresident alien? No payment is available, even if you file a return.

6. Ineligible filing requirements. You won’t get a payment if you file Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ, Form 1040PR or Form 1040SS for 2007.

7. The phase-out. If you’e single and your adjusted gross income (AGI) is more than $75,000, your payment will be reduced. The phase-out starts when your AGI reaches $150,000 if you’re married and file a joint return.

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