Thursday, February 14, 2008


Before Valentine's Day, President Bush signed the law that will benefit some 130 million Americans. The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 (H.R. 5140) ,a.k.a. tax rebate law, is the good news in the form of a check that some cash-strapped kababayans is counting on.

Intended to spur our sickly economy to life, the government is expecting the check recipients to do some serious retail therapy right after getting the money. However, my favorite financial guru, Suze Orman, has some ideas on how to spend this "found" money more responsibly.

But before natin bilangin ang mga sisiw bago mapisa ang mga itlog, let's see first if you qualify.
Makaka-receive ka ba ng check?
If you have net tax liability for 2007 and/or earned at least $3,000 last year, yes, you will.

Ano ang net tax liability? This is the amount of tax you owe entered on line 46 on the 2007 Form 1040. Most individual tax filers will have a net tax liability above $600, but if your tax liability is less, then that will be the amount of your rebate check.

Yung iba can still qualify for a rebate of $300 for single filers (double for joint filers) as long as you have at least $3,000 in income from a job or Social Security or veterans' disability benefits.

Magkano ang matatanggap ko?
Individual taxpayers could receive at least $300 and up to $600.
Married taxpayers who file joint returns will get a maximum rebate of $1,200, depending on your tax liability. Kahit yung asawa lang ninyo ang nagtrabaho, you will still get the maximum amount, just make sure to file jointly.

Most individuals who have income of $3,000 but who do not have to file a return will get $300.
Those with children can receive an additional $300 per child.

Lahat ba ng anak ko kasama sa bilang?
No. Ang qualified lang sa rebate ang yung mga anak na younger than 17.

Will nonresident aliens who work here get a rebate?

Also, mababa rin ang rebates ng mga rich taxpayers. If you're a single filer with an adjusted gross income, or AGI, of more than $75,000; more than $150,000 for married couples filing jointly, you will get less (you probably don't need the extra moolah, anyway, right?)

What do I need to do to get the check?
You need to file your 2007 income tax return. Even if you have no taxes due, it might help to let the government know that you have $3,000 earned income for 2007.

Those who don't file might still count on the IRS and Social Security Administration to find you, if you're eligible but don't have to file a return.

Kailan dadating ang check?
They will start issuing checks by mid-May, according to reports. You can check the IRS Web site during that time for updates. If you have a direct deposit account on file for your tax refund, that's probably where it will end up, too - mas mainam kasi mas madali n'yong makukuha doon kesa mag-i-intay pa kayo ng mail.

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