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WASHINGTON - Congressional leaders announced a deal with the White House Thursday on an economic stimulus package that would give most tax filers refunds of $600 to $1,200, and more if they have children.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress would act on the agreement — hammered out in a week of intense negotiations with Republican Leader John A. Boehner and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson — "at the earliest date, so that those rebate checks will be in the mail."
The rebates would go to 117 million families, according to a Democratic summary. That includes $28 billion in checks to 35 million working families who wouldn't have been helped by Bush's original proposal, the analysis estimated.
Republicans, for their part, were pleased that the bulk of the rebates — more than 70 percent, according to an analysis by Congress' Joint Tax Committee — would go to individuals who pay taxes.
Individuals who pay income taxes would get up to $600, working couples $1,200 and those with children an additional $300 per child under the agreement. Workers who make at least $3,000 but don't pay taxes would get $300 rebates.
The rebate part of the plan would cost about $100 billion, aides said. The package also includes close to $50 billion in business tax cuts
The package would allow businesses to immediately write off 50 percent of purchases of plants and other capital equipment and permit small businesses to write off additional purchases of equipment. A Republican-written provision to allow businesses suffering losses now to reclaim taxes previously paid was dropped.
Pelosi, D-Calif., agreed to drop increases in food stamp and unemployment benefits during a Wednesday meeting in exchange for gaining the rebates of at least $300 for almost everyone earning a paycheck, including those who make too little to pay income taxes.
But some experts say it could be summer before Americans see any real cash.
The goal for both Democrats and Republicans is to get the money into the hands of consumers as soon as possible.
First the Internal Revenue Service has to cut the checks. That's the tricky part.
The earliest the IRS could start mailing out checks is the end of June, since the agency is now in the middle of the 2007 tax-filing season, experts said.
"It is remarkable that the world's leading economic power can't get checks out the door faster than that," Peter Orszag, the director of the Congressional Budget Office, told the Senate finance committee on Tuesday. "But it's a reflection of the fact that the IRS's infrastructure is in a state that's under pressure and consumed, again, with the normal tax-filing season."
An IRS spokesman declined to comment.
Originally posted by Shar
Remember what they did the last time. Everyone thought they got a rebate from the Government BUT instead it was an advance.
Remember they took the money they gave you out of your following years tax check. So when you think you’re going to get $2000.00 back for instance don’t forget to subtract the $600.00 or whatever you think you are going to get from it. This is what they did the last time.