When the IRS announced last week they were accelerating the economic stimulus payment schedule, it caused a lot of confusion. Since then, a lot of people have asked me when they will receive their economic stimulus rebate from the government. I have done my best to answer as many questions as possible, but I do not have all the answers. This post has the most accurate information as of the date it was published, and all information was sourced from the IRS website.
Everything You Need to Know About the Economic Stimulus Payments
On May 1st, the IRS updated their Economic Stimulus Information Center page, which has just about everything you might want to know about the economic stimulus rebates, including:
- When? official stimulus payment schedule,
- How Much? the official stimulus rebate calculator (this calculator has been removed from the IRS website),
- Where is my rebate? and the stimulus payment tracker.
I have highlighted some of the information from those pages for you.
The Official IRS Payment Schedule
This is a copy of the official stimulus payment schedule from the IRS web page, as of May 1, 2008. Economic stimulus payments will be issued according to the last two-digits of the main filer’s Social Security number, when the tax payer files their tax return, and whether the tax filer chooses direct deposit or payment by check.
The IRS expects to send out 25% of the checks within the first few weeks, and should have the majority of he rebate checks issued by mid-July.
For joint filers, the payments will go out based on the person listed first on the return. Payments will be made by either direct deposit or paper check, consistent with how people filed their 2007 tax return.
According to the IRS website, direct deposits will be made daily and will be completed by the date listed below (assuming your tax return was filed by the April 15 deadline):
|Last two SSN digits:||Payments will be transmitted no later than:|
|00 through 20||May 2|
|21 through 75||May 9|
|76 through 99||May 16|
Paper checks will also go out based on Social Security number. For Social Security numbers ending in 00 through 09, the paper checks will be mailed starting May 9 and will continue through May 16. A similar process will be repeated in the following weeks.
|Last two SSN digits:||Payments will be mailed no later than:|
|00 through 09||May 16|
|10 through 18||May 23|
|19 through 25||May 30|
|26 through 38||June 6|
|39 through 51||June 13|
|52 through 63||June 20|
|64 through 75||June 27|
|76 through 87||July 4|
|88 through 99||July 11|
Late filers. People who file a return after April 15 will receive their economic stimulus payment, but probably about two weeks later than the schedule shows. Since it normally takes the IRS about 2 weeks to process most tax returns, it should take about a month to receive your rebate check. A tax return must be filed by October 15 in order to receive a stimulus payment this year.
Keep in mind, this is a rough schedule – the Treasury is processing over 130 million rebates!
The Official IRS Rebate Calculator
The web based stimulus rebate calculator is easy to use and takes about 5-10 minutes to complete. You will need a copy of the Form 1040 that you filed with the IRS. Then, follow the instructions. Don’t worry, the IRS doesn’t ask for any personal data such as your SSN, nor does it store any of your information when you use the calculator. All entries are erased when you exit or start over. Keep in mind, this is only an estimate, and is not “official” until you receive the check.
Where’s My Stimulus Payment? – The Official IRS Rebate Tracker
The IRS created a web based tool to help you track the status of your economic stimulus rebate. You will need to have your tax return handy because you will need to input some key information from your return, including your SSN, filing status, and number of exemptions. The tool will locate your information in the database and give you the status of your rebate.
Important note about rebate tracker: The IRS recommends using the Payment Schedule prior to using the payment tracker since your payment information will not be available on this tool until the time that your payment is scheduled.
More questions about the stimulus package?
For more details or frequently asked questions, read the Economic Stimulus Package Frequently Asked Questions, or visit the IRS Stimulus Payment Information Center.
Most importantly – be patient! The IRS is processing millions of rebates in an extremely short time period. There are bound to be a few speed bumps along the way. Good luck!
Note: this article was originally published in 2008. It has been updated for historical purposes and for usability.