Recovery Rebate Credit

December 1st, 2008

Notice: This credit is for those who did not receive the maximum Economic Stimulus Payment available. If you received the full amount of your stimulus payment, you most likely will not be eligible for this credit.

For 2008, you generally can claim a recovery rebate credit of up to $600 ($1,200 if married filing jointly). Generally, the credit cannot be more than your 2008 net income tax liability (your regular tax liability plus any AMT, minus any nonrefundable credits you claimed other than the child tax credit). However, your credit will be at least $300 ($600 if married filing jointly) if you meet either of the following two conditions:

  1. The total of your earned income, social security benefits (including social security disability payments), tier 1 railroad retirement benefits, certain veterans benefits, and nontaxable combat pay is at least $3,000, or
  2. Your total income is more than $8,950 if your filing status is single or married filing separately ($11,500 if head of household; $14,400 if qualifying widow(er); $17,900 if married filing jointly), and your net income tax liability is more than zero.

If you meet either of these conditions, you can also get an additional $300 for each of your children who is a qualifying child for the child tax credit.

To be eligible, you and your spouse each must have a valid social security number. To get the additional $300 credit for a child, the child must have a valid social security number. You are not eligible to get a payment if you can be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer, or if you file Form 1040NR, 1040NR-EZ, 1040-PR, or 1040-SS.

If your 2008 AGI is more than $75,000 ($150,000 if married filing jointly), your credit will be reduced by 5% of your AGI in excess of that amount.

Credit reduced or eliminated by economic stimulus payment.Your credit is reduced by any economic stimulus payment you received in 2008. However, if your credit is less than the stimulus payment you received, you do not have to repay the difference.

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