Upcoming U.S. Stimulus Payments explained

By Mir
March 18, 2008
Category Quick Tips

If you’re like me, you’ve only been listening with half an ear to this whole “stimulus payment” plan from the IRS, because the information seemed to be trickling out here and there, but often with contradictions. “Eh,” I thought to myself, “they’ll release the details eventually.”

And yesterday, they did. That link there will give you the schedule of payments, so you can figure out when you can expect a check.

Answer any other questions you may have by checking the stimulus payment FAQ; most notably, it appears that these payments really are non-taxable:

Q. Is my stimulus payment taxable?

A. No. You will not owe tax on your payment when you file your 2008 federal income tax return. But you should keep a copy of the IRS letter you receive later this year listing the amount of your payment. In the event you do not qualify for the full amount this year but you do next year, you will need to have the letter as a record of the amount you previously received.

Q. Will the payment I receive in 2008 reduce my 2008 refund or increase the amount I owe for 2008?

A. No, the stimulus payment will not reduce your refund or increase the amount you owe when you file your 2008 return.

Now please do me a favor—plan to use that money to pay down debt and/or jump-start your emergency savings. I’m not going to get into a debate about the whether or not the government is deluded in thinking this is going to help the economy (ahem), but you will have control over your money, when you get it. Use it wisely.


  1. We’re hoping to scrape together enough (with the help of that payment) to pay off the house this year. Sorry, didn’t mean to rub it in . .

  2. Thank you for the FAQ link. I was getting nervous because we’re moving right around the time that we would be getting the payment. I had no idea what to do, but I do now. Thanks, Mir!

  3. We are getting our direct deposit because that’s how we got our refund this year. No waiting for a check – score!

    I know a bunch of people who are going to run out and spend this money, but we are thinking about starting a “wedding fund” for our baby girl to be born in a couple of months. We already have a starter fund for her 529 and letting $1K or so ride for the next 21+ years will hopefully mean that is all we have to worry about saving… 🙂

  4. My husband and I were just talking about how disappointed The Man is going to be with us. We’re planning to put half toward paying off a credit card. The other half is going into savings. Take that, Government!

  5. As much as I would like to pay off our student loans, I’m afraid we are going to have to give it to the dentist. 🙁

  6. Yep – ours is getting split up between paying off the laptop (woot!), paying off the car (double-woot!) and the savings account.

  7. They are gonna love us! We are closing on a house in April, and we need to buy a fridge and a washer and dryer. We will have to put them on credit cards anyway (to be paid off ASAP of course), and our “stimulus payments” will go directly for paying off the appliances. Hooray! Everyone wins.

  8. We had ours direct deposited as well. And now, we’re officially credit card free! Woo hoo! Now to work on the student loans that have dogged us these last 20 years… The rest we put into savings, but alas, our car died. We’re on the hunt to find a “get to work” car and most likely, it will eat what we had left. We’re just praying that God will surprise our socks off and grant us one that is wonderful and below what we expected to pay!

  9. Between this and our tax return, we’ve decided to take a trip to Disneyland.

  10. We are using it to put towards our savings for a car. No monthly car payment for us!

  11. It’s going to be half of our cost of the medical bills for our baby due in August. We have the other half plus some more (in case things go poorly) percolating in the ING savings.

  12. We are buying windows for our new house but the frugal way…we are installing ourselves!! The rest will go one the one credit card that is left…

  13. The Man will be disappointed with my husband and me, also. We’re applying ours to our car loan. 🙂

  14. P.S. Did they really think we would all shout, “Yahoo! Free Money!” and go on a shopping spree? Wait, what site am I at? 😉

  15. I had high hopes of paying off another credit card with ours…..but we just had 3 different tires blow-out on two different vehicles. Since we had been limping along on old tires for quite some time, we decided to catch the special they were having and outfit both vehicles in 4 new tires each. Both vehicles are 5+ yrs old and were still riding on the original tires. The grand total for 8 new tires, installation, balancing, and all the other ridiculous little charges they throw in? $1080….ugh. At least I no longer have to fear blowing out a tire with the two little kids in the car.

  16. Mine will be going to a credit card whose 0% balance comes due in August (damn medical bills). There probably won’t be much of the refund left after that. 🙁

  17. we’re paying debt. I am excited to report that we will be totally debt-free within one year. This ridiculous govt bail-out will just make it a bit faster. Can’t be fast enough for me…I’ve learned my lesson, that’s for sure.

  18. Mine is going into my vaction savings account…. I am thisclose to getting to go somewhere… Perhaps that little bit extra will make for a completely paid for vacation!!!!

  19. Guess I’d better hurry up and get our taxes done so we get ours! 🙂 All the paperwork is now sorted, it’s the Turbo Tax Home and Business that’s staring me down now.

  20. I think someone else said it, too, but ours is going half in savings and half toward debt. We aren’t monkeying around with this money, as we are trying to save up for a long-distance move (hopefully) and a new car…and we want to pay down debt as we go along.

    Thanks for the updated info, Mir!

  21. I just wrote about this on my blog this morning. I think “the man” is going to be disappointed with us, too. We are debt free except for our mortgage so we are putting our $2100 either in savings or straight on the principle of the mortgage. Haven’t decided yet.

  22. We are ripping up our nasty, nasty carpet and putting in hard wood floors! I can’t wait!!

  23. Um. I’m not being practical with mine. I’m going to BlogHer with it. But I AM being practical with the rest of my refund! I think!

  24. Well, I guess the Man will like us – let’s see if I can stimulate a little economy! We are going to take our son to Disney (just for one day) and then buy some materials to build some shelving in our home.

  25. Hmmm, let’s see…. pay down credit card, go shopping again with said credit card, possibly buy new (to us) car (get rid of the 1985 van *coughCLUNKERcough* that keeps dying) and use up lots of gas while enjoying how much improved our gas mileage is, compared to the old van.

  26. Mine’s going towards paying off a credit card.

    I know they want us to spend it… but in the long run… paying off debt is also something that will help the economy, so they can eat it.

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