One-Time Emergency Payments

Two Provisions on the Newly Signed Bill

February 26, 2009 // 0 Comments

by JERRY COON Information is slowly trickling out, detailing how the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 will affect us here in Rockford. All 1,107 pages of this historic bill were signed into law by President Obama on February 17. An additional 285-page report has been issued by a joint Congressional committee that explains just the tax provisions of the bill. Needless to say, we are in the heart of the tax season and even skimming through 285 pages would be a difficult task, let alone trying to look over the full bill. For that reason, tax professionals like me belong to tax organizations such as the National Association of Tax Professionals. They have the staff to research these bills and the accompanying committee reports and give us a 20- or 30-page synopsis of what it all means to you and me. I can deal with 20 to 30 pages. I would like to pass on what we are being told about two provisions of the bill: the One-Time Emergency Payments provision and the Making Work Pay Credit. Both of these credits will put a tremendous amount of money back into people’s hands with the hope they will spend that money and thus stimulate the economy. The One-Time Emergency Payment consists of the Department of Treasury issuing a $250 check to the following taxpayers: those receiving Social Security benefits; railroad retirement benefits; veteran’s benefits; and certain taxpayers receiving supplemental security income benefits. There is quite a group of taxpayers, however, who will not qualify for the $250 payment, including those currently in prison, those currently on probation or who have violated parole, those who have committed fraud, and those currently receiving SSI while receiving Medicaid benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA), the Veterans Administration (VA), and the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) are all required to submit lists of eligible taxpayers to the Department of Treasury. The checks are required to be issued no later than 120 days after February 17. That means those $250 checks or direct deposits should show up no later than about June 17. That also means that taxpayers will not be required to file a tax return to get the benefit. We all thought that was hokey last year when […]