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Rebates: one down, one to come?

The bulk of the rebate checks have been delivered. Can't you just feel the economic stimulation. (I hope that last sentence doesn't cause any content filter problems.)

And just as we taxpayers, if not necessarily the economy, recover from the sometimes confusing, often frustrating rebate process, some lawmakers are planning round two.

Steny_hoyer_2 CQ Politics reports that Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.; pictured at left) is expecting the House to consider a second economic stimulus package by the time Congress adjourns in late September.

Hoyer's Republican colleagues and Dubya say it's too soon to think about another attempt to jump start the struggling economy. They argue that we just need to chill and wait for the full effects of the most recent rebate checks.

The Democratic House leadership, however, is determined to push for a package that would include, among other provisions, funding for infrastructure, heating assistance for low-income individuals, food stamps and state Medicaid programs.

And another round of individual rebate payments could be part of the proposal.

Stimulus, part 2, pleas: If the rebate sequel does indeed happen, I have two requests.

First, please don't send us costly mailings saying we're going to get the money and then a second one that says the check is in the mail. We'll take your word for it in order to save the country a few bucks.

And second, don't promise us delivery dates. I know it was done with the best of intentions, but many folks were frustrated when their rebates didn't synch up with the payment schedule.

Stimulus_payment_logo Stimulus, part 1, status: The Treasury Department says it has delivered $91.8 billion to taxpayers via 112.4 million economic stimulus payments.

That accounts for the bulk of the rebates, but Treasury says checks will continue to be sent out to eligible recipients throughout the end of the year.

The reason for the straggling stimulus payments? Checks can't be cut until taxpayers file their 1040s. And millions of us (yes, us; I still haven't finished our filing paperwork) got an extension so we have until Oct. 15 to complete that task.

But the fall deadline is the rebate drop-dead date. If you don't get a return in by then but still qualify for a stimulus payment, you can get the money when you file your 2008 tax return next year. 

For more rebate scoop, you can peruse my previous rebate bloggings, or go straight to the IRS' Economic Stimulus Payment Information Center.

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