The Internal Revenue Service said it won't challenge the accuracy of income tax returns filed by eligible individuals who claim just $1.00 in adjusted gross income in order to receive an economic stimulus payment.
In Rev. Proc. 2008-21, the IRS said the $1 returns would need to be electronically filed in compliance with Notice 2008-28, which provides guidance for people not otherwise required to file a tax return so they can receive an economic stimulus payment.
In order to receive an economic stimulus payment, low-income individuals whose only earnings come from sources such as Social Security benefits, disabled veterans' benefits and retired railroad workers' benefits must file a return. However, an individual must have at least $3,000 of qualifying income before deductions for 2007 to receive the stimulus payment. The individual also can't be claimed as a dependent on another taxpayer's return.
The IRS said that an individual who wishes to electronically file an income tax return may enter $1.00 of income in the Income section of the return and at least $1.00 of adjusted gross income even though the return prepared as instructed in Notice 2008-28 would otherwise show no adjusted gross income. The IRS will not challenge the accuracy of the entry of $1.00 of AGI on the return for any eligible individual who follows the procedures and has no filing requirement under Sections 6012 or 6017 of the Tax Code.
However, the IRS may challenge the return and assert penalties if the return contains inaccuracies not related to Rev. Proc. 2008-21. For example, failure to report actual AGI in excess of $1.00 as required would still be subject to applicable penalties.