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(General) Subject: Treatment of 2008 Economic Stimulus Payment in the 2009-2010 Federal Need Analysis

Posted Date:March 20, 2009

Author: Jeff Baker, Director Policy Liaison and Implementation, Federal Student Aid

Subject: Treatment of 2008 Economic Stimulus Payment in the 2009-2010 Federal Need Analysis

The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-185) enacted on February 13, 2008, provided a tax credit against 2008 tax liability, in the form of a cash payment, to most taxpayers based on income and tax liability information reported on 2007 federal income tax returns. Taxpayers who received a stimulus check had a valid Social Security number, at least $3,000 in income, and filed a 2007 federal income tax return. The maximum stimulus payment amount was $600 ($1,200 for married couples filing a joint return) plus an additional $300 for each eligible child in the family younger than 17. Maximum payments were phased out for higher-income taxpayers and reduced for lower-income taxpayers with limited federal income tax liability.

Section 101(a) of Public Law 110-185 amends section 6428 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for the economic stimulus payments to taxpayers, however, section 101(d) provides that the value of a stimulus payment is not considered as income or as a resource in determining an individual's eligibility for any program financed with Federal funds.

Therefore, the Department has determined that any amounts of stimulus payments received last summer, are excluded from the EFC calculation. Applicants for Federal student aid should not report these stimulus payments either as income or untaxed income on their 2009-2010 FAFSA.

Contact Information

If you have general questions about the 2009-2010 Need Analysis, contact Federal Student Aid's Research and Customer Care Center (RCCC) at 800/433-7327 or by fax at 202/275-5532. You can also e-mail the RCCC at fsa.customer.support@ed.gov. The RCCC staff are available 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays.

Last Modified: 03/19/2009