Check Is (Almost) In the Mail... Find Out When

American taxpayers need not fret when they see that letter from the Internal Revenue Service in their mailboxes come July. This time the IRS is sending money, not demanding it.

According to the U.S. Treasury Department, the IRS will be sending out calling cards on July 15 to inform taxpayers when their tax rebates will arrive, and how much they will be. The plan was officially set into motion when President George Bush signed the $1.35 trillion tax cut in a White House ceremony Thursday.

"This tax cut is a promise delivered," Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill said in a statement following the ceremony. "It will have a real, positive effect on millions of Americans in all walks and stages of life."

Checks will be based on five percent of the taxpayers' 2000 taxable income - that’s up to $300 for single payers, up to $500 for the head of the household payers and a maximum of $600 for married couples filing jointly. Note: those who have not yet paid their taxes for 2000 will not get a rebate until they do so.

Starting on July 23, the IRS will start mailing checks based on the last two digits of taxpayers' Social Security numbers (SSN). Therefore, those with "00" to "09" at the end of their SSN will receive a check in the first week, "10" to "19" in the second week, "20 to "29" in the third week, and so on. The department expects to finish the last round of payments - "90" through "99" by Sept. 24.

For married couples who filed a joint return, the first SSN on the return will determine the mailing date for the check, according to officials.

The Treasury estimates that there will be 91 million checks sent out, totaling $39 billion. The state of California will be getting the most number of checks, with the greatest amount of money returned: 10.5 million and $4.4 billion, respectively. New York should be getting 6 million checks and $2.5 billion; Texas can expect 6 million checks and $2.6 billion in rebates.

Tax Rebate Schedule Beginning July 23