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2008 stimulus money leads to tax confusion

Lawton_Confusion over the economic stimulus checks sent last May has led many taxpayers to make mistakes when filing their returns this year. The Internal Revenue Service says 15% of the returns they have received so far have been wrong. The IRS says it is because of the way people are accounting for that stimulus money. If the forms are wrong - filing will be delayed.  

Tax experts say one point of confusion is whether or not to claim the money. "They are not taxable they are not reportable as income. You need to do the worksheet to determine if you are eligible for anymore of the recovery rebate credit," said Chris Vajgrt of Liberty Tax Service.

Vajgrt says about 3% of people are eligible for more money but they have to meet some requirements.  "People's situations have changed, maybe they got married in the last year or had a child. It is not a separate thing it is still based on the $300 per taxpayer from last year," said Vajgrt.

Another problem people are facing is that they do not even know if they received a check last year because the money may have been put toward taxes they previously owed.

If there is a problem with your return, Vajgrt says the IRS will send a letter. He says problems with claiming the economic stimulus money may delay your return about a week.

If you have questions, the IRS website has a section entitled "What was my 2008 stimulus".  A few short questions may help clear up your confusion.

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