An economic stimulus payment oops...

You're waiting patiently for your money from the now-famous federal economic stimulus package. You're happy, because you'll get your payment a little sooner because you used direct deposit. You're waiting. And waiting.

Oops. You had your 2007 tax refund direct deposited into your retirement account, not a bank account. Now what? You guessed it... Your money for the economic stimulus is also going to be deposited into your retirement account too. This, of course, can create troubles for those who aren't eligible to contribute money to that account or those who didn't want their money to go into the retirement account.

The good news is that you can get your money out of that retirement account with no tax problems. The bad news is that it may take you a little time and effort to do so. This is one of the unfortunate consequences of distributing money in this way.

I, of course, wish these payments wouldn't be going out at all. The government should just reduce taxes for the rich who pay a disproportionate share of the tax bill as it is. This silly redistribution of money through a process that sends a bunch of checks to people who don't pay any income tax to begin with is completely unfair... especially when those who pay most of the taxes to start with aren't "eligible" to receive this money because they "make too much money." Oh well. Have fun spending!

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

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