Date: February 15, 2008
President Signs Public Law 110-185, the “Economic Stimulus Act of 2008”
On February 13, 2008, President Bush signed into law H.R. 5140, the “Economic Stimulus Act of 2008” (P.L. 110-185). T he House passed the bill on January 29 th , by a vote of 385 to 35. The Senate amended and passed the bill on February 7 th , by a vote of 81 to 16.
The law provides business tax incentives and rebate checks for individuals. In addition, the law appropriates funding for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to assist in carrying out the rebate program for OASDI beneficiaries and disabled veterans.
Following are provisions of interest to SSA:
2008 Recovery Rebates for Individuals
• Taxpayers with “qualifying income” above $3000 would be eligible for a rebate.
• Qualifying income includes Social Security and Railroad Retirement benefits, certain veteran benefits, wages, salaries, and self employment.
• Individuals with tax liability will receive a rebate equal to the amount of the tax liability with a maximum of $600 per individual, $1,200 for joint filers. Parents who are eligible for the payment will also receive an additional $300 for each qualifying child listed on their 2007 tax return.
• Eligibility for the payment is subject to maximum income limits. The rebate payments will be reduced by 5 percent of the amount of adjusted gross income in excess of $75,000 for individuals, $150,000 for joint filers. The rebate would phase out for individuals with adjusted gross income of $87,000 and for joint filers at $174,000.
• Individuals who do not have tax liability—for example certain low-income Social Security beneficiaries—will have to file tax forms 1040 or 1040A showing benefit income of at least $3,000. Such individuals will receive $300 an individual, $600 for joint filers.
• The rebate would only be payable to individuals who file a tax return for the taxable year using a valid Social Security number.
• SSA currently provides the Internal Revenue Service with information to verify the name/SSN match.
• The rebate payment, and any other credit or refund under section 6428 of the Internal Revenue Code, would not be taken into account as income for purposes of SSI, nor is it included as a resource during the month of receipt or the two following months.
• SSA's Limitation on Administrative Expense appropriation for FY 2008 is increased by $31 million by the legislation.
These provisions are effective upon enactment.