Rebates for stay at home moms?

@schilds (410)
United States
February 12, 2008 1:27pm CST
I know these rebates have been discussed to death, but a friend brought up a scenario that I cant find the answer to. She was told by her tax preparer that even though they file a joint tax return, since her husband is the only one employed, she would not receive a rebate. I don't think this is fair - when I file a joint return with my husband I assume responsibility for his tax burden, even though I don't earn an income. What are your thoughts on this?
3 people like this
9 responses
• United States
12 Feb 08
If she isn't working then how would she file a return at all without him? You have to pay into the government to be entitled to money back from them. I am currently on workers compensation and since no taxes are taken out of my checks I am not entitled to receive a refund this year even though I am still responsible for supporting 4 kids on less than 66% of my gross income. So I think that their tax preparer is right on the money on this one. If she isn't paying out taxes she isn't entitled to her own separate refund.
1 person likes this
@schilds (410)
• United States
12 Feb 08
As a married couple we file a joint return. That means on our 1040 the income is OURS, and the tax liability is OURS, any refund we get has both of our names on it. If we owed and didn't pay the IRS even though I haven't earned any money in a couple of years - I would be held just as liable for that tax debt as my husband. In all other ways the IRS treats his income as our income since we file a joint return, why then should they exclude me from a rebate on OUR taxes?
1 person likes this
@Modestah (11195)
• United States
12 Feb 08
that makes sense to me, though we did not get the rebate the last time around for some unexplained reason - sure hope we do this time. It does not really matter in our case whether it is my name his name or our name as it goes right into the joint bank account - though, it would be easier in my name since I handle all the banking.
1 person likes this
@sid556 (31019)
• United States
13 Feb 08
Wouldn't you get a rebate in both of your names? I mean, You couldn't file alone as you don't have an income but you could file jointly for the rebate i think. I really don't know but I would think that's how it would work. The last rebate we got, we all had to file similar as if we were filing our income taxes.
@schilds (410)
• United States
13 Feb 08
From what I have read they are going to use our 2007 income tax filings, so there wont be another form. I had assumed since our tax forms are jointly in both of our names, and our refund is jointly in both of our names, we would receive a rebate for a married couple with 2 children - in both of our names. I don't remember the last rebate - I remember I got one, but it's been a while and I was single and working then. Maybe thats where I am not understanding - am I missing something - will we have to file for the rebate?
• United States
13 Feb 08
No, you won't have to file anything extra to get the rebate. Just do your tax returns as you normally would.
• United States
13 Feb 08
I just finished reading an article that indicates your friend's tax preparer may be mistaken. Here's the quote: "Married taxpayers who file joint returns will get a maximum rebate of $1,200. That's double the maximum possible rebate amount for single filers. Again, it could be less than that, depending on your tax liability. But don't worry if only one spouse earned the income. Filing jointly is all that's necessary." Basically, since we only have to file your taxes as we normally do for the government to judge if we qualify, it doesn't really matter if the tax preparer was wrong (so long as he gets the rest of the tax laws right...). Here's the rest of the article for those that are interested: http://www.bankrate.com/brm/itax/news/taxguide/20080212_tax_rebate_plan_faq_a1.asp
@schilds (410)
• United States
13 Feb 08
Thank you. This is what I had assumed, but we all know how assumptions go... so I tried to find some more info on it, and I was unable to find any clarification.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Feb 08
They've only just sorted out how the rebates will be dispersed, so there hasn't been much information up until now about who would qualify and for how much. Now that it has been decided, there should be much more information available soon.
@Modestah (11195)
• United States
12 Feb 08
when filing a joint return both couples are the taxpayer and the refund recipient. Both couples must sign the document - and both are liable for willful deceit should there be any. that is what joint is about - the married couple as one - the household income as one. when the check comes to you it will have both names on it and both parties must sign for it.
@KKKBsmom (1094)
• United States
13 Feb 08
I think that is the way it should be... You are living as one... Happy day! :0)
@tinkerick (1257)
• United States
12 Feb 08
Well, the IRS is not providing any eligibility info as of yet on their website. I have heard it 2 different ways. One - is similar to the way your friend was told: if you file Married Filing Jointly but only 1 of you works, you will be receiving the Singles rebate plus kids. On the other hand I've heard it goes by household, not individual, therefore if you file Married Filing Jointly, even if only 1 of you works you'll still get the Married rebate plus kids. - This one to me makes the most sense to me because it's less work for the IRS. Why would they want to examine each joint filing to see if 1 or both individuals were working?
@schilds (410)
• United States
12 Feb 08
I agree - until she mentioned this to me I hadn't even considered that they would split it up. It just doesn't make sense - it is a lot more work for them.
@dlkuku (1936)
• United States
13 Feb 08
After reading the link that was provided, I feel it is really unfair that only children under 17 get the rebate. My daughter is 17 and she is still totally my dependent, and all college kids are also excluded even though many of them are dependents. I lost out because of her age too because we now no longer qualify for the extra child tax credit of $1,000, this is just wrong. She still lives at home, is in High School, doesn't work, but you know, the government always has a way of messing things up. I didn't work for years, and we always filed jointly and our refund came to both of us, so your question was a good one, and I am glad it was cleared up for you. It's good to know that those women who do stay home will get this.
@rowantree (1190)
• United States
13 Feb 08
Based on their joint tax return, the two of them receive a rebate together. The title of the post is "rebates for stay at home moms?" so that would lead one to believe that they have children. The joint rebate is increased based upon the number of children they have. She should feel lucky she's getting a rebate. There are many people out there who earn less than $3,000 a year and won't get one. My mother-in-law, who is retired and living on Social Security, sure could use some extra money. The whole point of the rebate is to put money back into the economy. From what I've read, the majority say they will use the money to pay off loans and such. That's not what the intention is for the rebates. Our senior citizens, who have minimal bills, would definitely put that money back into the economy. Yet they're not the ones receiving the rebates. The question to ask is this - who comes up with this crap?
@crazed_moma (1054)
• United States
13 Feb 08
They treat all couples equally rather working or not. When they first did the taxes that way most families were one income families and that's why the deduction for a married couple isn't double a single head of house hold. I'm all for a flat tax where every body pays the same percentage regardless but I can bet that will NEVER happen!
@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
12 Feb 08
Oh she sits around the house, watching "Young and the Restless" and eating bon bons. She is working but the government does not consider housework as work and if her husband is a cheapskate, which I suspect, she will not receive any of that rebate, he will have it all. That is unfair. In Canada we had family allowance something like your aid to dependent children that were taxable at a lower rate until some blooming government idiot told of the wealthy banker's wife (as if all bankers are kind souls who will give money to their wives. Haven't they heard of Scrooge?") But that was for the kids and not for the wife. So no matter what, a stay at home wife is only dependent on the monies her husband brings in and has no money except what he gives her. Find out her situation, and suggest if she get an allowance, to save as much of the money as possible. At least the interest on that will be her money, but unless she gets an outside job, no tax rebate.