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As tax returns come to a close, many citizens are eager about getting their rebate checks, which should be arriving this summer. For college students, many of them will not receive any checks because of the rules behind the rebate plan.

Rebate questions tax students


Photo illustration by Michael Uribes

As tax returns come to a close, many citizens are eager about getting their rebate checks, which should be arriving this summer. For college students, many of them will not receive any checks because of the rules behind the rebate plan.

The rebate checks are going to be given out to stimulate the economy. The idea is to give checks in amounts ranging from $600 to $1,200, based on economic and social factors. These factors include marital status and total income earned throughout the year.

When the checks are received, people are expected to spend them on material goods. This, in turn, will boost the economy, and help with the economic downturn the country is facing.

One stipulation of the rebate is that any working individual who is claimed as a dependent is not eligible for the rebate. Many working college students who live at home are claimed as dependents to stay on their parent’s insurance, but this excludes them from receiving the rebate.

“That just isn’t fair to students,” senior Brandon Jackson said. “There are many hard working students that get shafted just because they live at home. They should be rewarded with this rebate check.”

According to Rebeca Villalobos, bilingual policy analyst for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) office in Fresno, the plan will lower taxes on those who pay taxes. So, students won’t necessarily be affected.

“Students normally work part time and don’t earn enough to have to pay anything back,” Villalobos said.

However, those students who do usually end up having to pay Uncle Sam are looking at a $600 refund for single filers, up to $1,200 for joint filers and $300 for every child under 17.

Low-income people will benefit, too, if they can prove they made at least $3,000 and got help from Social Security, Veterans Affairs or other similar programs.

Some students feel that they are the ones who would actually go out and spend the rebate checks.

“It doesn’t really make much sense,” junior Pablo Morales said. “College students spend a lot of money on material goods. Making these rules would prohibit many [students] from getting the checks, and it will defeat the purpose of these rebates, which is to spend these checks to stimulate the economy.”

Other students who are receiving these checks plan on spending them on credit card debt, and also trying to save a little of it, as well.

“I will probably use the rebate to pay for my credit card debt,” senior Erik Montes said. “I know these rebates are supposed to be spent to boost the economy, but there are others things I have to take care of first.”

Junior Humberto Avila thinks that if the rebates are supposed to be spent on the economy then the government should be giving the money in a debit card format.

“What they should do is send a debit card to each person with a limited amount of money on the card,” Avila said, “and have an expiration date on the card so it would have to be used within a year.”

These rebate checks will be issued to over 100 million people all over the United States, and should arrive anywhere between June and August.

Additional reporting by Sandra Sedano.

Under deadline: tax filing tips
If you haven’t filed your taxes yet, here are some tips so that you don’t get penalized for missing that April 15 deadline.

• Speed up the process and file your tax forms electronically through e-filing on www.irs.gov. You can also pay online as well. As an added bonus, filing online means you get your rebate faster.

• Request an extension of time, which gives you until Oct. 15 to file. Fill out Form 4868 and file it by
April 15.

• If you don’t have enough money to pay any taxes you owe, you can request and extension of time for payment. However, these only last for one to four months, and the IRS will still charge interest and penalties.