Janesville42.1°

Checks could come by mid-summer

Print Print
Mike DuPre'
January 26, 2008
— Americans probably will have to wait until mid-summer to get the rebate checks that Washington has all but promised to boost spending and thus the economy.

So thinks Janesville’s Rep. Paul Ryan, senior Republican on the House Budget Committee.


“May is a maybe,” Ryan said, referring to an optimistic timeframe recently mentioned in national news reports.


The reason for the wait, he said, is that the agency that would issue the checks, the Internal Revenue Service, is in the midst of tax season, and the IRS already is contending with last-minute congressional intervention.


In December, lawmakers amended the alternative minimum tax so that the higher tax will not affect more middle-class taxpayers this year, but the late-year patch also increased the tax season workload for the IRS.


Ryan said he proposed immediately lowering the amount of taxes withheld from paychecks to reflect the rebates that will be mailed, so that American consumers would more quickly have more money to spend.


But most others in Congress want the political boost that a check in the mail can deliver, he said.


The bill to create the economic stimulus has not been written yet in the House of Representatives, and it will be subject to approval and possible change by the Senate.


But as outlined in an agreement in principle between Congress and the White House, the package would provide tax rebates of $600 per individual, $1,200 for married couples filing jointly and $300 payments to people who don’t pay income taxes, such as the elderly and the poor.



Print Print