Treasury readies refund plans

Treasury readies refund plans

By Dipka Bhambhani

GCN staff

JUNE 7—The $40 billion in tax refunds promised in President Bush's tax bill will cost the federal government $115.8 million to process, Treasury Department officials said.

A task force of about 20 employees of the IRS, Treasury's Financial Management Service, the Postal Service, and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service is working to get the refunds mailed by September.

'Before the legislation, we were formulating our plans,' said Tony Torrice, FMS' chief disbursing officer. FMS and DFAS are setting up eight disbursing and debt centers around the country to handle mailing 11 million checks per week.

Torrice said FMS and DFAS will spend $49 million of the $115.8 million supplemental budget for paper, labor, machinery maintenance and postage, the latter costing $40 million.

An undisclosed portion of the supplemental budget will go to design and implement software to calculate each tax refund.

'This is less than 40 cents an item,' Torrice said of the overall cost. 'It's mostly postage.'

The bill provides for refunds, beginning in July, of up to $300 for single filers, $500 for people filing as heads of households and $600 for married couples filing jointly.

The IRS will use a USPS address database and has urged taxpayers to make sure the Postal Service has their correct addresses.

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