2008 Memorandums
IM-26      03/14/08

P.O. BOX 2320



Under the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, more than 130 million American households will receive economic stimulus payments beginning in May.

This memorandum addresses the following:

Income Policy

Stimulus payments will not count as income for any other income-based government benefits, such as Social Security benefits, Food Stamps, Child Care Assistance, MO HealthNet, or any Family Support Division (FSD) Income Maintenance payment.

Resource Policy

For Food Stamps do not include the rebate as a resource for the month of receipt and the following two months when determining eligibility or continued receipt of Food Stamps.

For all other IM programs, do not include the rebate as a resource.


If the individual deposits the payment in his/her bank account, enter the resource type as savings or checking account as appropriate. Enter the gross amount of the bank account and enter the excluded portion using the reason code GP - Government Payment. Record a comment that includes the receipt date of the rebate and the amount received. Set a reminder for the first day of the third month in order to follow-up, if the amount of the rebate plus other resources would cause the EU to be over the resource limit.

EXAMPLE: Ms. A applies for Food Stamp benefits for her family on June 3, 2008. She reports that she received her rebate on June 2, in the amount of $2700. The rebate is excluded for June, July, and August. The eligibility specialist sets a reminder for August 1, 2008, to check on the resource limit for Ms. A's EU beginning in September. If Ms. A states that her balance has been reduced below the resource limit, no action is needed.

Who is Eligible for an Economic Stimulus Payment?

The only way to get an Economic Stimulus Payment this year is to file a federal tax return for 2007. This filing requirement also applies to some people who do not normally file, including many low-income people and recipients of Social Security, certain benefits received from the Department of Veterans Affairs and certain Railroad Retirement benefits.

The vast majority of Americans who qualify for an Economic Stimulus Payment will not have to do anything other than file their 2007 individual income tax return to receive their payment this year. They will not have to complete applications, file any extra forms or call the Internal Revenue Service to request the payment, which is automatic. The IRS will determine eligibility, figure the amount and issue the payment.

Low-income workers who have earned income above $3,000 but do not have a regular filing requirement must file a 2007 tax return to receive the minimum stimulus payment. Similarly, Social Security recipients, certain Railroad retirees, and those who receive the veterans' benefits must file a 2007 return in order to notify the IRS of their qualifying income.

The IRS emphasized that people with no filing requirement who turn in a tax return to qualify for the Economic Stimulus Payment will not get a tax bill. People in this category will not owe money because of the stimulus payment.

The IRS will use the 2007 tax return to determine eligibility and calculate the basic amount of the payment. In most cases, the payment will equal the amount of tax liability on the return with a maximum amount of $600 for individuals ($1,200 for taxpayers who file a joint return) and a minimum of $300 for individuals ($600 for taxpayers who file a joint return). Parents and anyone else eligible for a stimulus payment will also receive an additional $300 for each qualifying child. To qualify, a child must be eligible under the Child Tax Credit and have a valid Social Security number.

Individuals who pay no tax and who have less than $3,000 of qualifying income will not be eligible for the stimulus payment.

Notices from IRS

Most taxpayers will receive two notices from the IRS. The first general notice from the IRS will explain the stimulus payment program. The second notice will confirm the recipient's eligibility, the payment amount and the approximate time table for the payment. Taxpayers will need to save this notice to assist them when they prepare their 2008 tax return next year.


Taxpayers should be wary of scams such as phone calls or emails from IRS imposters soliciting personal information and promising a “rebate” or other type of tax payment. The ONLY form that needs to be filled out to get a stimulus payment is the 2007 federal tax return.

Free Tax Help Available

Low- and moderate-income workers, including veterans, can get free tax help through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Call 1-800-906-9887 to locate the nearest VITA site.

The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Program provides free tax help to people age 60 and older. As part of the IRS-sponsored TCE Program, AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program at more than 7,000 sites nationwide during the filing season. To find an AARP Tax Aide site, call 1-888-227-7669 or visit the AARP Web site.

The Web site ( external link) is the best source for additional information and answers to questions regarding the stimulus payments.



IM-25  |   2008 Memorandums  |  IM-27