Checks close to the mail

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 14, 2008

Staff and wire reports

The check is in the mail, well, almost.

Tax payers can expect to receive rebates starting in May after President George W. Bush signed into law Wednesday a bill authorizing payments from $300 to $1,200 for more than 130 million people.

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Congress approved the $168 billion plan to boost the national economy. The package also includes tax breaks for businesses when they invest in new plants and equipment.

IRS officials say all a person has to do to be eligible for a payment is to file a 2007 tax return. The IRS will do the rest.

Returns are due by April 15. Most people who earn more than $3,000 will qualify for the rebate, including those who received their money through Social Security or veterans&8217; disability benefits.

Individuals who earn more than $75,000 will receive smaller checks. Couples who make more than $150,000 will receive less.

The earning limit to receive a check for singles and couples is $87,000 and $174,000, respectively.

Those earning less than $3,000 a year will receive $300 if single, or $600 if a couple.

People here in Selma and other parts of Alabama might not have to pay state taxes on these rebates, if the Legislature acts soon.

The leadership of the Senate Democratic Caucus has endorsed legislation that would keep state taxes from being levied on the rebates.

The state&8217;s income tax rate is 5 percent for individuals. Legislation would save $60 of a $1,200 rebate.

Sen. Hank Sanders, D-Selma, doesn&8217;t have a problem with waiving the state tax. &8220;Anything we get from the stimulus package is something we wouldn&8217;t have had anyway,&8221; he told The Associated Press.