The Recovery Rebate Credit is a one-time tax credit from 2009 for taxpayers who did not receive the full benefits of the economic stimulus payments from the year before.
You may be eligible for the Recovery Rebate Credit if:
You did not receive an economic stimulus payment in 2008.
You did receive an economic stimulus payment, but did not receive the maximum amount of $600 per single taxpayer and $1,200 per married couple because your income was too low or too high.
You gained an additional qualifying child in 2008.
You did not have a valid Social Security number in 2007 but gained one in 2008.
The credit is calculated in exactly the same way that the economic stimulus payments were calculated.
Whereas the original economic stimulus payments were issued as separate payments, the Recovery Rebate will be added to your income tax refund for 2008 or applied against tax you owe.