The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, June 08, 2001

Rebate checks (may be) coming

By The Building Tradesman

Looking forward to your tax rebate check? It may not deliver all that's promised.

Last month, Congress passed President Bush's tax cut, with the word that by this summer, the check will be in the mail to help stimulate the economy.

Single tax filers, it was said, would get checks for $300, while married couples would get $600. Then came word from the nonpartisan Citizens for Tax Justice, a nonpartisan advocacy group, who said 26 percent of all tax filers won't get any rebate check because they owed no income tax last year, and 13 percent more will only get partial rebates.

"The people who care most about $300 are the ones who aren't going to get it," said Robert McIntyre, director of Citizens for Tax Justice. "The people who are going to get the whole thing are the ones who don't care much."

Almost half the families who won't get a rebate are low-income households that receive an earned-income tax credit.

In Michigan, tax rebate checks won't be mailed to 1.17 million residents who filed taxes, or 26 percent, ranking our state fifth in the number of taxpayers who won't get checks.

Among married couples earning between $27,000 and $44,000 - the middle 20 percent of American families - the average rebate check will be $356. Among married couples earning between $15,000 and $27,000, the average rebate will be only $84.

Households receiving a rebate check will be notified by an IRS letter in July.