Where's my stimulus check? Oh, now they tell me...

Last week I vented my frustration at the IRS, the government, George Bush -- anyone! -- when I wrote, Where's my stimulus check. The post hit a nerve apparently, drawing thousands of page views and hundreds of comments.

I was supposed to receive my family's $1,800 economic stimulus check via direct deposit on May 9. But the day came and went with little fanfare...and even less money. That's the day I wrote the post.

Today, a full week later, Turbo Tax sends me an email. The salient section:

Dear Valued Customer,

We want to provide you with the most up–to–date information about the tax rebate to which you may be entitled.

Recently, you may have received a letter from the IRS advising you when to expect your Economic Stimulus Payment (rebate). That IRS letter may have inadvertently left off some important information. Taxpayers who chose to have their tax preparation fees deducted from their federal tax refund will receive their tax rebate in the mail, not via direct deposit.

I like the "inadvertently left off some important information" phrase. This is because that information was most definitely NOT on the IRS website before last week. I'd gone through the information on the site carefully several times earlier, in my duties as an editor for this blog (not to mention as a self-interested beneficiary of monies myself...). Indeed, because there was originally no such stipulation, I let myself get all excited for my May 9th windfall.

More frustrating, however, is that, judging from the many comments, there are plenty of people who did pay an electronic filing fee and did receive their payment as scheduled. Without further information from the IRS clarifying exactly what an electronic filing fee means to it, we're left to suspect that the payout is alarmingly random.

So. Now the "check is in the mail," but I've learned my lesson. I'll believe it when I see it. And until I see it, allegedly around June 20, I have to wonder what other clauses the IRS might slip in there. Families with brown-haired children won't get a check until 2009? Women under 5.4 will get cash, delivered by courier monkey, unless they have blue eyes, in which case they can find it under a rock in Farmer McGivern's field down the road....

Stay tuned! Have you gotten yours?

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