Not much buzz lately. Several tax bloggers have been taking a break to recuperate after the end of the tax season. Blog postings have been pretty much devoted either to the “stimulus” rebate checks or Wesley Snipes.
Every tax blogger, myself included, has reported on the basics of the rebates. But several have brought up some interesting points or information on these checks:
* Trish McIntyre of OUR TAXING TIMES makes a good point in her post “Change of Address”. If you have changed your address since you filed your 2007 federal income tax return make sure to get a Form 8822 to the IRS ASAP to be sure your stimulus check is not returned to the IRS. Unless the IRS has been notified of a change the rebate check will be mailed to the address used on the 2007 Form 1040 or 1040A – unless, of course, the taxpayer requested direct deposit.
* Former Tax Playa Ryan Ellis deals with the stimulus rebate on a joint return filed by a “Surviving Spouse” in his TAX INFO BLOG.
FYI, a rebate will also be issued for an individual deceased taxpayer who files a tax return for 2007 – i.e. for a taxpayer who went to his/her “final audit” either during 2007 (in which case it would be the final return), in early 2008 before filing a tax return, or in 2008 after filing a tax return.
* IRS MIND reminds us that the IRS will apply a “stimulus” rebate against any existing outstanding tax debt from prior years. Plus, if you have not filed a return for a past year the rebate may be withheld “in lieu of unfiled returns”.
Your rebate may also be applied to other outstanding federal debts or to outstanding state taxes or debts.
* A TAX CONSULTANT FOR ALL SEASONS reports on IRS ANNOUNCEMENT 2008-44, which says that if your “stimulus” rebate is directly deposited into an IRA or other such “tax-favored” account (i.e. Health Savings Account , Archer MSA, Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, Qualified Tuition Plan, or 529 plan) you can take the money out tax-free and penalty-free.
If you requested that your 2007 federal income tax refund be directly deposited your “stimulus” rebate will be directly deposited to the same account. So if you had your refund deposited to an IRA account your rebate will also be sent there.
Kay Bell also discusses this issue in her post “Unwanted Rebate Deposits” over at DON’’T MESS WITH TAXES.
* Kristine McKinley reports that, as I anticipated, the IRS website now has a “Where’s My Rebate” feature in her newly renamed THE MONEYWISE COACH (formerly Financial Tips for WAHMS) blog.
* Brett Arends of the Wall Street Journal gives some excellent advice regarding what to do with your “stimulus” rebate in his article “Stimulate Savings, Not Spending” at MARKETWATCH.
* Whatever you decide to do with your rebate check DO NOT do what Pastor Steve Munsey suggests, as shown in TAX GIRL Kelly Erb Phillips’ post “God Wants Your Rebate Check (and Your Refund Check)”.