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I could swear that the original FAQs on the economic stimulus program said if you owe on taxes, that your economic stimulus check would be unaffected. DH and I are almost done with 2008's owed amount and today got a letter that our checks would be applied to the remainder.

I presume you mean 2007's owed amount, since for calendar year filers, 2008 taxes are not due yet.

That said, my recollection is that the intent for the stimulus payments was always that any owed taxes, student loans, child support, etc. would be taken out of the stimulus payment prior to sending it, just like refunds have those items taken out. And as you have discovered, the current FAQs on the website also say that.

With Google, I was able to find a cached FAQ page from March 17, 2008 that also stated that back taxes would be taken out of stimulus payments

All or part of an economic stimulus payment may be applied to back taxes or certain other debts of the taxpayer, such as delinquent child support and student loans. In such cases, the IRS will send a letter to the taxpayer explaining the offset.

I'm not sure if there were any FAQs prior to that date.

I don't mind since it just means I will send a much smaller final check for our debt. But I am frustrated when I have such a clear memory that this would not happen since the intent is to put zip into a moribund economy.

So take the money you were going to send to the IRS for the last of your tax payments and spend that instead.

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