"The check is in the mail"

Lawton_The Feds say 'your check is in the mail', and they're promising $600 for most of us - free and clear - just for paying last year's taxes. The rebate is part of the government's attempt to boost the slowing national economy, and is part of a $168 Billion stimulus package.

Individuals earning between $3,000 and $75,000 should see a $600 rebate. Married couples earning up to $150,000 per year are slated to get a $1,200 boost in addition to $300 for each child under the age of 17. On average, a family of four should expect $1,800 this year. Seniors and disabled veterans have been promised a $300 check for individuals, and $600 if a couple.

But, the biggest question on everyone's mind - 'When will the money get here?' If you filed your taxes by April 15, your rebate should start arriving in the mail May 2.

However, there may be some confusion about the amount you're receiving, and what to do with it once it's in your hands - do you save it, or do you spend it? The Feds say spend it. They say the point of the federal rebate check is to boost the sluggish national economy, and the Lawton Chamber of Commerce is encouraging you to spend it locally. The chamber says it will have the largest impact for the long term for the local economy if you spend that check in Lawton.

Investment is another option. For example, if a 20-year-old invests their $600 check in a mutual fund, and never touches it again, by the time they reach the age of 60, the investment will have reached more than $27,000. And, experts say, if they give the fund a little monthly boost - let's say $50 - their investment will grow to $319,000.

The Feds' $600 rebate amount is a maximum for middle-class workers. Some folks may see less when their rebate hits the mailbox. It all depends on the taxes filed. They say that if an individual falls outside the range of $3,000-$75,000 in annual gross income, that person may not see any boost at all.

The IRS says that if your tax refund was deposited electronically, your rebate check will also be sent to you via direct deposit beginning May 2. For those who chose the option of a paper check, they will be mailed in phases according to the last two digits of your social security number. So, the higher the number, the longer it will take to get your check. The last checks will be mailed by July 16.