Even those individuals who have little or no tax liability may qualify for a minimum payment of $300 ($600 if filing a joint return) if their tax return reflects $3,000 or more in qualifying income, which consists of earned income (e.g., wages, net self-employment income) as well as Social Security or certain Railroad Retirement benefits and veterans’ disability compensation, pension or survivors’ benefits received from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in 2007. Many of these individuals normally wouldn’t have to file a 2007 return because their incomes are below the filing thresholds, but they will have to file a return in order to receive a rebate.
Where necessary, the following benefits (in any combination) must be reported on Line 20a of Form 1040 or Line 14a of the Form 1040A to meet the qualifying income requirement:
Social Security benefits reported on the 2007 Form 1099-SSA, which individuals should have received in January 2008. Those who do not have a Form 1099 may estimate their annual Social Security benefit by taking their monthly benefit and multiplying it by the number of months during the year they received the benefits.
Railroad Retirement benefits reported on the 2007 Form 1099-RRB, which should have been received in January 2008.
The sum of veterans’ disability compensation, pension or survivors’ benefits received from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in 2007. Individuals may estimate their annual benefit by taking their monthly annual veterans’ benefit and multiplying it by the number of months during the year they received benefits.
IRS cautioned that Line 20a of Form 1040 and Line 14a of the Form 1040A are designated for Social Security. To qualify for the economic stimulus payments, these lines should also be used to include any qualifying Railroad Retirement or veterans’ benefits.
See also See IRS site at this link: