Thursday, May 8, 2008

Stimulus Payment Delays

This post is in addition to the post I wrote yesterday. In that post (click here), I addressed some of the events that could reduce the amount of a stimulus payment that you receive. I wrote that an audit should not affect the amount of your economic stimulus payment. That is still correct but I want to add some addtional thoughts.

If you are currently undergoing an audit for years prior to 2007, that audit should not affect the stimulus payment. Conceptually, however, if your 2007 return has been selected for review prior to its official processing, your stimulus payment could conceivably be held up because the IRS will not have determined what your stimulus payment should be.

Lets say for example, that the social security numbers of your dependents doesn't match what the IRS has on file. Maybe you wrote it wrong, maybe they read it wrong, it doesn't matter, just assume the numbers don't match. If that is the case, the IRS cannot complete the processing of your return. If they can't complete the processing of your return, they can't make a determination on how much your stimulus payment will be. As such, your stimulus payment could be delayed until they have it sorted.

There are a great number of items on a return that the IRS may want to confirm during the processing of your return. This could mean a delay in the stimulus payment if what they are looking into relates to your 2007 return.

Unfortunately, there is no telling how long the delay will be. It is a question of how long it takes for them to resolve the issue. In the meantime, if you receive a letter from the IRS asking for information, don't ignore it. If they are asking questions that you can answer yourself, do so. If they are asking questions that are more complicated than you are comfortable with, consult a legal advisor.

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