Quick 2008 Tax Tip to Make Things Easier

So, you’re doing your taxes and everything is just fine.  You are approaching the end of your Form 1040, when you get blindsided by a question you’ve never seen before.

Line 70 of the 1040 says “Recovery rebate credit (see worksheet on pages 62 and 63)”

Yikes!  What is that about?

Look around and chances are you’ll get almost exactly the information you need, but with all of the if, ands, or buts that are crowding around the explaination, it can be tough to know if you are getting it right.

So, here is the quick and easy version.

Enter 0 or leave it blank.

That’s it.  Nice and easy.

Wait, too easy?  You are probably right.

For almost everyone, this line should be blank.  The only exception is if you DID NOT get your stimulus payment last year for some reason, OR if you got a reduced stimulus payment.  If you don’t remember complaining about getting a reduced stimulus payment, then you almost certainly did not get a reduced payment.  You would remember, trust me.

If you want to double check, go back and check your bank statements.  The payment was $300 for single filers, $600 for joint filers, and $300 per child.  If you have 2 kids and see a deposit in May for $1200, then you got your full payment and line 70 should be blank.

The stimulus payment was not a credit or advance on your 2008 taxes, so you are not paying it back with this line.  In fact, this line is a subtracting line which means that entering somethign here increases your refund.  So by entering a number here you are not paying back a stimulus advance, you are claiming another one!

Short version.  Line 70? Leave it blank.

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