How to Claim Your Stimulus Check

Claim Your Stimulus Check
Claim Your Stimulus Check (Image:

If you pay income taxes in the United States, you might be eligible for the 2008 stimulus check. The only way to claim this stimulus check is through the recovery rebate credit. Taxpayers who already received a check in 2008 will most likely not be eligible for the recovery rebate. The challenge is determining eligibility and credit amount.

Check the dollar amount on Notice 1378. This is a notice the IRS sent out to individuals who received the stimulus check last year.

Go to the website if you did not receive the notice. The IRS has a special web page dedicated to the recovery rebate credit and the economic stimulus plan. The web site also has several tools (see Resources below) to help you determine the correct dollar amount.

Call the IRS at (866) 234-2942. Select Option 1 to determine the amount of your stimulus check. You will need your Social Security number, 2007 filing status and the number of exemptions claimed.

Use this amount for the recovery rebate credit worksheet on the 1040. Tax preparation software should automatically pull this number in to calculate the rebate recovery credit. If filing a paper form, the worksheet will help you to calculate the proper credit, which should be reported on line 70 of form 1040, line 42 of form 1040A or line 9 of form 1040EZ.

Ask the IRS to determine the correct amount. Simply put "RRC" on the recovery rebate line of your return as listed in Step 4. The IRS will determine eligibility and credit amount.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you already filed your taxes for 2009, you have three years to re-file to claim missed credits and/or reductions. See IRS Tax Topic 308 in Resources for details.

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