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Tax Refunds Due Starting Next Week

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FAYETTEVILLE — We have all heard the saying "the check is in the mail." Well, the check really is in the mail for millions of taxpayers.

Vice President Dick Cheney watched Friday as the first federal tax rebate checks were printed and mailed at the regional finance center in Kansas City.

Ninety-one million taxpayers will receive the checks, with most single filers receiving a maximum of $300, single parents getting $500, and couples getting about $600.

To some, it may not be much, but it is money, and most people are happy about it -- and ready to spend their refund checks. Retailers are certainly seeing dollar signs, and are urging shoppers to start spending their money now.

Retailer Wal-mart is inviting people to come by and cash their checks without fees or service charges.

"We're allowing them to (cash the checks and) make purchases in the store without having to make minimum purchases. It'll be treated as currency," said Troy Pochon, manager of a Fayetteville Wal-mart.

Home Depot is also encouraging shoppers to spend their refund checks at their stores.

Not everyone thinks that treating the refunds as disposable income is a smart idea.

"Obviously (retailers) know that consumers are, about this time of the year, looking to spend money, and they want your business," said Jaime Acosta of Knight Credit Services.

Acosta suggested using your money wisely by paying off some debt. But many people will not be that patient.

"I will spend it on a car, (at least) put it towards a down payment," said one man.

"Basically (I will) spend it. I'm just glad. I pay taxes so much it's just nice to get something back," said another shopper.

Tax refunds should start showing up in mailboxes next week.


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