The first wave of checks representing the Child Tax Rebate, a result of the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003, is on its way. Altogether, approximately 25 million checks will be mailed in this rebate program.
The tax rebate checks, which represent an advance payment on tax benefits that will be available on next spring's income tax returns, will be mailed in three batches. The first batch goes out this week in Friday's mail. Notices were mailed on Tuesday providing information about the rebate to the first group of taxpayers.
The second group of rebate checks is scheduled to be mailed on August 1, and the final group will be mailed on August 8. The first group of checks goes to taxpayers with Social Security numbers ending with the numbers 00-33. The second group goes to taxpayers with numbers ending in 34-66, and the third group is for taxpayers whose numbers end with 67-99. The primary taxpayer listed on a tax return is the one whose Social Security number is considered for purposes of determining the order in which rebate checks are mailed.
Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores nationwide have announced they will cash the rebate checks at no charge with no purchase necessary. Taxpayers who choose to take their checks to these stores will also have the option of using the rebate check to pay for purchases or exchanging the check for a Wal-Mart or Sam's Club shopping card that can be used for future purchases.
The impetus behind the rebate is to provide a boost to the nation's lagging economy. Members of Congress and President Bush hope the rebate checks, totaling $400 each per qualifying child, will provide taxpayers with extra spending money which will be pumped back into the nation's marketplaces. The 2003 tax act increased the Child Tax Credit from $600 to $1,000 per child.