updated 3/17/2008 5:50:10 PM ET 2008-03-17T21:50:10

If you want to be the first on your block to get your $600 economic stimulus payment, the IRS has a tip: Sign up to get your 2007 tax refund via direct deposit.

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Among those receiving rebate checks, people with Social Security numbers whose last two digits are low — say, 06 — will get their checks first, the agency announced Monday.

Taxpayers who receive their refunds — or make payments — through direct deposit will begin receiving payments by May 2, with all such deposits expected to be made within two weeks.

Then, starting by May 16, the rest of the 130 million stimulus payments will start going out as checks sent through the mail. Stimulus checks will be sent out in the order of the last two digits of the Social Security number used on a tax return. For joint filers, the first Social Security number listed will determine the timing of the couple's rebate check.

The IRS said the last of the rebate checks should be mailed by July 11.

The economic stimulus bill enacted last month provided for $600 checks for most individuals and $1,200 for couples filing jointly, with a $300 per-child credit added on. The stimulus payments will start phasing out for individuals with adjusted gross incomes higher than $75,000 and couples making more than $150,000.

Lower-income workers, Social Security recipients and veterans who making too little to pay income taxes would receive $300 checks as well, as long as they have at least $3,000 in income from various sources in 2007.

But those who owe back taxes or have certain other debts such as delinquent child support payments and student loans will have their rebates garnished.

The IRS expects to make 34 million payments in the first three weeks of May.

The agency also posted on its Web site a calculator for taxpayers to compute how big their rebates should be.

Last year, 58 percent of refunds were given via direct deposit.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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