- Days left

Today's July retail sales report shows what we've been saying for some time--people seem to be spending their government stimulus checks on necessities such as food and gas, and not on shopping sprees.

President Bush's economic stimulus program--which doled out up to $600 per person to over 130 million households--might not have had the desired impact on the economy, but an extra $600 bucks surely helped your bottom line, right?

What's that you say...you haven't gotten your stimulus check yet?

Well, if you filed your 2007 tax return--which you must do in order to be eligible--more than 8-12 weeks ago, it's time to track down your missing money. Maggie B., one of our Dolans.com readers, followed the advice we're about to give you and discovered her stimulus check was collecting dust at the IRS because it was returned as "undeliverable" by the post office.

So take 5 minutes right now to visit www.irs.gov and click on the button right smack in the middle of the screen that says "Stimulus Package."

We're shocked to hear ourselves saying this, but the IRS has put together pretty useful, easy-to-understand information that can help you track down your check. The most common reason people don't receive their checks is because the check was returned to the IRS as undeliverable.

And that doesn't just apply to this year's stimulus checks. The IRS is holding BILLIONS of dollars of unclaimed tax refunds. In 2006 alone, the IRS owed a whopping $110 million in refunds to more than 155,000 people they couldn't find!

So download Form 8822, which is the IRS' official change of address form, right from that main stimulus package web page and find out if you have any unclaimed refunds coming to you.

The site also lists all the eligibility rules and reasons why you might not have received a check (for example, Uncle Sam kept it to pay back taxes you owed). The IRS will even put a trace on your check to help you track it down if it's been more than 8 weeks since you filed your return.

(By the way, if you haven't filed your 2007 tax return, it's NOT too late! You have until October 15th to file and still be eligible for your rebate. After that, say sayonara to a quick 600 bucks.)

Like the idea of finding lost money you didn't even know you had? We can show you more where that came from! Check out our new video, How to Find "Missing" Money at Dolans.com.

Personal finance experts Ken and Daria Dolan help people like you learn to save more, spend less and live richly at Dolans.com.


Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

How much house can I afford

Home buying 101, evaluating one of your most important financial decisions.

View Course »

How to Avoid Financial Scams

Avoid getting duped by financial scams.

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

What is IRS Form 8824: Like-Kind Exchange

Ordinarily, when you sell something for more than what you paid to get it, you have a capital gain; when you sell it for less than what you paid, you have a capital loss. Both can affect your taxes. But if you immediately buy a similar property to replace the one you sold, the tax code calls that a "like-kind exchange," and it lets you delay some or all of the tax effects. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses Form 8824 for like-kind exchanges.

What are ABLE Accounts? Tax Benefits Explained

Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts allow the families of disabled young people to set aside money for their care in a way that earns special tax benefits. ABLE accounts work much like the so-called 529 accounts that families can use to save money for education; in fact, an ABLE account is really a special kind of 529.

What is IRS Form 8829: Expenses for Business Use of Your Home

One of the many benefits of working at home is that you can deduct legitimate expenses from your taxes. The downside is that since home office tax deductions are so easily abused, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tends to scrutinize them more closely than other parts of your tax return. However, if you are able to substantiate your home office deductions, you shouldn't be afraid to claim them. IRS Form 8829 helps you determine what you can and cannot claim.

What is IRS Form 8859: Carryforward of D.C. First-Time Homebuyer Credit

Form 8859 is a tax form that will never be used by the majority of taxpayers. However, if you live in the District of Columbia (D.C.), it could be the key to saving thousands of dollars on your taxes. While many first-time home purchasers in D.C. are entitled to a federal tax credit, Form 8859 calculates the amount of carry-forward credit you can use in future years, not the amount of your initial tax credit.

What is IRS Form 8379: Injured Spouse Allocation

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has the power to seize income tax refunds when a taxpayer owes certain debts, such as unpaid taxes or overdue child support. Sometimes, a married couple's joint tax refund will be seized because of a debt for which only one spouse is responsible. When that happens, the other spouse is said to be "injured" and can file Form 8379 to get at least some of the refund.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum