Did You Receive Your Economic Recovery Payment?

I’ve received a lot of inquiries related to the Making Work Pay Credit and the Economic Recovery Payment. You cannot receive the maximum credit for both. If you are disabled or retired and received the Economic Recovery Payment, you must report it on your Schedule M when claiming the Making Work Pay Credit. It is not taxable: you just can’t receive both benefits.

If you fail to report it, the IRS will kick back your return. However, since checks related to the Economic Recovery Payment were mailed out almost a year ago, many folks can’t remember whether they received the credit. For months now, the only way that you could find out whether you received the credit was to contact the agency who mailed the check directly. Thankfully, that has changed. You can now check online on the IRS web site – the ERP tool is here. All you need is your Social Security number, your date of birth and your zip code. I checked it out earlier today – it’s working! Hopefully, that will help out some taxpayers this season.

Of course, it would have been even more helpful if the tool had been in place sooner than a month before tax season is over… But hey, beggars can’t be choosers, right?

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8 thoughts on “Did You Receive Your Economic Recovery Payment?

  1. I think you do a fantastic job of sorting through the good, the bad and (of course) the ugly federal tax laws. I think I have the answer (Taxpayer, yes – Spouse, no), but I would like to hear your thoughts.

    Here’s the question:
    Married couple, joint tax return, both retired, AGI about $60k. Taxpayer receives a Civil Service Pension, but no Social Security. Taxpayer did not recieve a $250 Economic Recovery Payment in 2009 (the IRS website verification really works). Taxpayer’s pension was earned from wages paid that were not subject to Social Security tax. Fairly clear (to me) the taxpayer is entitled to a $250 Economic Recovery Credit, via Schedule M, on the 2009 tax return.

    Spouse became eligible and began receiving Social Security in March 2009. Did not qualify for the Economic Recovery Payment from Social Security (needed to be receiving Social Security during one or more of the months; Nov. 2008, Dec. 2008 and Jan. 2009).

    Is spouse eligible for a $250 credit on the 2009 tax return? Initially I thought so, however, now I think not. It appears the fact that one collects Social Security (or certain VA benefits and/or Railroad retirement benefits) does not seem to be a criteria for eligibility, it was just a pass-thru system to disburse the Economic Recovery Payment in May of 2009.

    A short “round table” discussion will take place at the office tomorrow to see if this is the general consensus.

    Thanks for your thoughts,

  2. This being my first year as Electronic Return Originator for AARP Tax-Aide, I can tell you that all but three of my IRS rejections have involved Sched M (and I’ve had a LOT of Sched M rejections). One thing we found out is that, even though some of our clients did not receive Social Security or Railroad Retirement Benefits, their health-care plans were managed through Medicare Advantage; and they got their ERP from Medicare – just one example of the mess we’ve had with this Schedule. And, of course, they don’t remember getting it.

    After fighting this for almost the whole tax season, at least the IRS has finally put a checking system in place. Better late than never, I guess.

    BTW, Ed, I agree with your conclusion. We use TaxWise software for our electronic returns, and it will not let you give the ERP to someone on Social Security who did not receive it.


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