Page last updated at 17:12 GMT, Monday, 28 April 2008 18:12 UK

US homes start to get tax rebates

US dollars

The US government has started to deliver tax rebates to US consumers as part of a bipartisan $150bn (75.4bn) plan to revive the battered economy.

The Internal Revenue Service expects to make 800,000 electronic deposits over the first three days of this week.

A further five million rebates are to go out on Friday.

Some 117 million homes are set to benefit from the plan. Individuals are to get up to $600 and married couples could see up to $1,200.

The first wave of payments will go to people who opted for direct deposit, when they filed their 2007 income tax returns.

"People who chose direct deposit will receive their economic stimulus payments the quickest," IRS commissioner Doug Shulman said.

Meanwhile those who did not opt for direct deposits will get cheques, the first of which will go out on 9 May.

Most rebates are expected to be sent by mid-July.

Consumer boost?

Many analysts have stopped debating whether the US will sink into a recession, believing that the economy is already there.

This change of attitude comes after a series of negative economic data and a rise in the number of companies reducing profit forecasts.

But US President George W Bush has resolutely refused to accept that a recession has started, accepting only that US economic growth is slowing.

"Fortunately we recognised the signs and took action," he said last week.

Consumer spending accounts for two thirds of the US economy

The rebates are the single most important feature of the economic stimulus plan that was signed into law in February but businesses will also benefit from $50bn in tax cuts.

Are you expecting to receive one of the tax rebates? How do you plan to use it? Do you think it will help? Send us your comments using the form below.

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