Stimulus Checks Confuse 2008 Tax Filers

The Internal Revenue Service has already determined that many early tax filers have mistakenly attempted to double-dip on new tax credits that began with last year’s stimulus checks, the agency announced this week.

Economic Stimulus Check
Economic Stimulus Check

The IRS recently reported that approximately 15% of filers so far have made mistakes relating to the rebate. The IRS is catching the errors and correcting them, which can delay the processing of a return for about a week, according to the agency.

The IRS issued almost 119 million rebate checks as part of an economic stimulus program in 2008. The rebate, which was an advanced credit on 2008 taxes, enabled most people to receive up to $600, plus $300 per child.

The vast majority of taxpayers are not eligible for more credits under the stimulus package, but since this year’s tax forms include a space to claim additional credits, many taxpayer’s are mistakenly using this section to claim the credit they already received, leading to errors.

The IRS has reported that many people have entered the exact amount of their stimulus check in that section of their tax returns. Most taxpayers should enter “zero” in the recovery rebate credit section of their returns.

For more information about the recovery rebate credit, click here. Having claimed the stimulus check in 2008 will not lower your tax refund, but in most cases, you can no longer claim the extra tax credit if you received a stimulus check.

These calculations should be completed easily with consumer-level tax software. The National Spending Journal recommends TaxACT.


This entry is for information only and does not constitute tax advice, nor does it serve as legal advice. There is no intent to create, nor does this blog site constitute, a professional tax practitioner/client relationship. You need to consult with your tax professional prior to acting on any item of information you learn on this site.

Tax laws change from time to time, and are different in various locations.

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