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What are Tax Relief Checks?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Tax relief checks are checks issued by the government to reduce the tax burden. These checks can come in a number of forms, and are typically issued to people who are currently in compliance with tax regulations. People who have not filed taxes may not be eligible, although sometimes amnesty is granted to people who want to get current so that they can receive a tax relief check. Issuance of such checks is usually highly publicized, since members of the public are usually interested in the opportunity to receive a tax relief check.

In the simplest form, these checks are mailed out as a form of refund. In nations like the United States where people pay their taxes in advance, they are expected to calculate their tax liability during tax season. If taxes were overpaid, the government owes the taxpayer a refund check, which may be described as a “relief check” in some regions.

In other cases, tax relief checks are mailed out as a form of tax rebate before people have even filed their taxes. Sometimes, the government changes the tax rate, and wants to provide taxpayers with savings retroactively, so tax relief checks are sent out to make up the difference between the old rate and the new one. In other cases, the government may send out tax relief checks as a one time form of economic stimulus, to provide people with funds which they can use to purchase consumer goods.

The amount of a tax relief check can vary. Sometimes the amount is standardized, with everyone receiving the same amount, as long as they pay taxes. In other cases, the amount of the check is adjusted, with the amount of the check depending on the income of the taxpayer. The disbursement is usually randomized, with a classic selection method being based on the Social Security Numbers or government identity numbers of tax payers.

One way to get a tax relief check more quickly is to file taxes with automatic deposit information. Many governments will automatically deposit relief funds before they mail out checks, allowing these tax payers to get their relief money sooner. Taxpayers who want to know when their checks will arrive can usually contact the government to see which batch of checks they are in, and when that batch will go out. For example, the government might explain that tax relief checks for everyone with a Social Security Number ending in three will be mailed between 20 April and 30 April, and that taxpayers should allow up to two weeks for delivery, creating a clear delivery window.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon81001 — On Apr 29, 2010

it is some how OK, but you should have added essence of these tax relief to individuals as well as the government.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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