Computer upgrade speeds tax rebate checks

Treasury says new system cuts four days off schedule

The Treasury Department's Internal Revenue Service said it will be able to start sending out the special tax refund stimulus payments four days faster than expected because of an improved computer program.

Treasury spokesman Andrew DeSouza, quoted in CNNMoney, said that the tax rebates will begin four days earlier than initially planned because of a new computer program that updates records daily instead of weekly.

Treasury said its initial schedule for the tax rebate checks called for the payments to begin May 2.

Because of the improved computer program, electronic payments will begin Monday, April 28, Treasury said.

Paper check rebates will begin May 9, one week earlier than planned.

Starting April 28 and continuing through April 30, Treasury said it would distribute 800,000 direct-deposit payments each day.

The eagle flies on Friday, May 2, when Treasury plans to issue 5 million direct-deposit payments.

Treasury plans to issue more than $110 billion to about 130 million taxpayers by July and to get the first $50 million out by May 30, DeSouza said.

Here's a reminder:

The stimulus program calls for single filers making less than $75,000 to receive $600 stimulus payments. Couples with adjusted gross income of less than $150,000 in 2007 will get rebates of up to $1,200. Parents will receive additional rebates of $300 per child. The rebate program calls for payments of $300 each to filers who do not owe income taxes but who earned at least $3,000 last year.

Taxpayers will receive the payments in the order of the last digit of their Social Security numbers, Treasury said.

GCN is inquiring about the specifics of the computer program upgrade.

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