Tuesday, July 15, 2008

No Stimulus Package for moi!

That's right folks. I'm assed out of $600 and will be unable to stimulate the American economy from over here in Japan. Here's why:

To be eligible for a stimulus payment, taxpayers must have valid Social Security numbers. Anyone who does not have a valid Social Security number, including those who file using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN) or any other identification number issued by the IRS is not eligible for this payment.

Both individuals listed on a married filing jointly return must have valid Social Security numbers to qualify for a stimulus payment.

Oh snap! I went an married a non-American citizen last year on April 23rd, right after taxes were due.

Then I went to the bank and tried to get her an ATM card on my account because I'm a swashbuckling breadwinner, and I was told that she needed an Individual Tax ID number (ITIN) to get it.

Then I found out that I had to wait a year or so to get that, because in order to get it I had to file my taxes jointly (along with the application). So I did.

ITIN received? Check.
ATM card with wife's name on it procured? Check.
Disqualified from receiving stimulus package? Check.

Far be it from me to mention that, you know, I'm a tax paying citizen with a valid social security number. And I guess I can ignore the fact that I spent 5 years in the USMC and have been working overseas in federal service directly for the military for the last 3 years. And during my 6 months in Afghanistan as a contractor I cheerfully paid a total of $15,000 in taxes...

...and it's not a question of "deserving" it, because I personally don't believe anyone "deserves" anything. You get what you get based on what you do to get it. That's just how I feel about things.

...but don't I rate?

Maybe just a little bit? Just a smidge? Just a...teensie...tiny...bit?

Apparently not.

The loss of $600 that I never had anyway doesn't bother me too much. My wife feels differently however. She expressed her view on the whole situation rather eloquently, and I quote: "That's bullshit."

On the bright side, according to this articles, military folks who previously fell under what I like to call the "GoEffYourselfYouRaceTraitor Rule" are now eligible to get their dinero. Folks like me are not, and given the increasing role that civilians play in support of the military and the US government overseas, I think this is more than just a little fucked up.

I urge you to shoot an email to your congressman. It would mean a lot to my wife's shoe collection a lot of people overseas who, in my opinion, "rate".