If you thought that the tax legislation passed at the end of 2007 — both the Alternative Minimum Tax relief legislation and the mortgage debt forgiveness relief legislation — finally resolved the issues that would have to be addressed for the 2007 tax return filing season, you were mistaken. Congress was not done creating issues that would impact those returns. The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, signed by President Bush on Feb. 13, 2008, has created additional issues for 2007 return filers.Most of the direct impact will be on lower-income individuals — individuals who are not normally required to file tax returns but who may wish to do so in order to qualify to receive a rebate check authorized under the new legislation.

Tax return preparers will encounter a number of additional issues, however, involving those entitled to rebate checks based on 2007 return information, many of which are just starting to be identified. There may also be some planning opportunities with respect to people who file a tax return but do not have a tax liability. Even some of the business-directed provisions impacting 2008 could have an indirect impact on decisions made with respect to filing the 2007 return.

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