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Taxpayers can claim stimulus checks

Posted: January 28, 2009 7:30 p.m.
Updated: January 29, 2009 4:55 a.m.

The Recovery Rebate Credit is a special one-time benefit that most people received last year in the form of an Economic Stimulus Payment.

But people who did not receive the maximum amount, and whose circumstances have changed, might be eligible now.

In most cases, the IRS will be able to calculate whether a person is eligible and how much of the credit is be due.

Taxpayers can choose this option by simply filing a 2008 Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ and following the "Credit Figured by the IRS" instructions.

People, however, can choose to calculate the Recovery Rebate Credit themselves.
Commercial tax preparation software will automatically calculate the Recovery Rebate Credit.

The credit can also be calculated by following the instructions on the 2008 forms 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ. The instructions for forms 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ all include a worksheet for this purpose.

In order to calculate the Recovery Rebate Credit, a person needs to know the amount of the Economic Stimulus Payment received in 2008. This amount was provided on Notice 1378, Economic Stimulus Payment Notice.

Two Online Tools Can Help Figure the Credit
Two online tools will be available on, the IRS Web site, to help people figure the credit:

* The Recovery Rebate Credit Calculator will help taxpayers determine if they are eligible for the credit and, if so, figure the amount that should be claimed. To use this calculator, the user must know the exact amount of the economic stimulus payment received last year. (This calculator will be available by the end of January in the Recovery Rebate Credit Information Center on

* How Much Was My 2008 Stimulus Payment? This tool is designed to provide the amount of last year's stimulus payment. Both of these tools are available through the Recovery Rebate Credit Information Center on

This information was provided to The Signal by the Internal Revenue Service.


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