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How the 2008 Tax Rebates Work

        Money | Taxes

Who qualifies for a 2008 tax rebate check?
Sen. John D. Rockefeller (D-WV) (left), Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) (middle), and Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) (right) discuss matters during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on 'The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008.' The hearing took place on January 30, 2008.
Sen. John D. Rockefeller (D-WV) (left), Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) (middle), and Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) (right) discuss matters during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on 'The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008.' The hearing took place on January 30, 2008.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

You must possess some basic prerequisites to be eligible for the tax rebate. The Internal Revenue Service says, "To receive a payment, taxpayers must have a valid Social Security number, $3,000 of income and file a 2007 federal tax return" [source: IRS].

Now for the explanations, exceptions and adjustments.

  • Taxpayers with Individual Taxpayer Identification numbers (ITINs) rather than Social Security numbers are not eligible.
  • Nonresident aliens won't get the rebate, as they cannot obtain Social Security numbers.
  • If you want to claim children under the age of 17, they must also have a Social Security number. Visit the Social Security Administration website if your child doesn't have one.
  • To be eligible for the rebate, you must have at least $3,000 of income.
  • At the high end, your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI), which is your taxable income minus certain deductions, must not exceed specified caps to receive the full rebate.
  • If you file single, married and filing separately, or head of household, your rebate will be reduced if your adjusted gross income is over $75,000 per year.
  • If you file married and filing jointly, your rebate will be reduced if you make a combined $150,000 in adjusted gross income.
  • Wages, salaries, tips, Social Security, some Railroad benefits, self-employment income and veterans' disability income count toward income requirements. Rental real estate income, pension income and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) don't count.
  • If either pension or SSI is your only income, you won't be eligible for the tax rebate, even if this income exceeds the minimum of $3,000.
  • Even if you meet all other qualifications, if you don't file a 2007 federal income tax return, you won't receive the tax rebate.
  • So now that you know whether you qualify, find out how much you could be getting on the next page.