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Thanks Phil, as always!

1) Surviving Spouse -- same rebate situation as MFJ?

No. If a MFJ return was filed for 2007 the advance check will be based on that filing status. If the spouse dies in 2008 the surviving spouse is still entitled to file a joint return for 2008, so there's no issue. Everyone who doesn't file MFJ for 2007 or 2008 is treated the same.

I'm asking on behalf of someone whose spouse passed away in 2007. So 2007 status = MFJ, 2008 status = surviving spouse. She may not have to file for 2007 (bulk of income from Social Security).

But if Surviving Spouse is not treated like MFJ for this purpose, then it sounds like she could get more money by filing for 2007 rather than waiting to claim it in 2008. Of course, who knows what her 2008 income situation will look like, but filing for 2007 should cover her bases, yes?

I still say it would have been simpler to toss $100 bills from the Goodyear Blimp.

Well duh! :-)

- Parkway
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