Gov’t Rebate CheckSince it was first announced that we’d all be receiving an Economic Stimulus Payment in the mail back in January, I’d been hearing varying numbers. For us, at first, it sounded like we’d automatically receive $1200…

I was pretty excited about that news.

Then the media made it out like it would be only $600 or perhaps even nothing, because of our income. More recently, I read elsewhere that it would be $1000 based on our situation. There didn’t seem to be a real concrete number — a hazy gray area.

Don’t get me wrong, even on the lower end, $600 for nothing is pretty nice. $1200, though, is a totally different game.

Our plan is (was?) to use the $600 to buy my wife a new computer. She’s never had a new computer — always one of my hand-me-downs, overloaded and customized with all of my personal crap.

We’re going to get her a new one and she can set it up as she likes. It can even come with a pink keyboard and fuzzy mouse if she likes — this one won’t be mine.

So this morning, I ventured on to the IRS’s website to see if they’d posted any new information on the stimulus checks…

I’d visited before, but all they had was a bunch of hard to understand legalese. Even their “rebate calculator” was a hassle (and for the first few weeks, it would error out).

Now though, it appears they’ve got some pretty solid info with easy to understand examples:

Examples of ways the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 may affect taxpayers who are married, file a joint return and are either childless or do not have children who qualify for child tax credit payment:

1) Married couple with no children, wages of $4,000, no federal income tax liability.
Rebate is $600

2) Married couple with no children, no wages, veterans’ payments of $2,000, social security benefits of $2,000, no federal income tax liability.
Rebate is $600

3) Married couple with no children, no wages, no social security benefits, veterans’ payments of $4,000, no federal income tax liability.
Rebate is $600

4) Married couple with no children, no wages, no social security benefits, no veterans’ payments, AGI is $20,000, federal income tax liability is $250.
Rebate is $600

5) Married couple with no children, AGI is $25,000, federal income tax liability is $750.
Rebate is $750

6) Married couple with no children, AGI is $60,000, federal income tax liability exceeds $1,200.
Rebate is $1,200

7) Married couple with no children, AGI is $160,000, federal income tax liability exceeds $1,200.
Rebate is $1,200
Phaseout reduction is ($500)
TOTAL is $700

If I’m reading it right and I’m sure I am because, for once, they give real life examples in plain English, we’re going to receive the originally advertised $1200 sometime during the first week of May. That is uplifting news.

Even with payout to be double what we’d expected and planned on, I think the plan is still to buy a new computer — maybe with a few more bells and whistles than originally thought.

And I’ll probably blow around $200 on myself for something short-sighted and stupid (hey, I want something shiny and new too!) with the remainder likely going into savings.

Or perhaps we should save it to pay our property taxes in July?

Nah…

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