Tax-relief checks are checks that the tax authorities send to taxpayers as a funds to reduce the tax burden. They can also be refund checks that are received from tax authorities for taxes paid in advance. When the tax assessment for the current assessment year or for the previous year was computed, the tax authorities mail any excess tax paid back to the taxpayer.
Tax-relief checks gained importance lately with the passing of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, perhaps the first major tax-relief program in the nation in the last twenty years. The goal of the law is to reduce the load on taxpayers by disbursing in advance tax-relief checks. The U.S. Treasury sent checks for up to $300 for singles or $600 for couples in the summer of 2001, and it can be expected that the practice will be phased in over the coming years. Importantly, these tax-relief checks meant the switch from the old 15 percent tax rate to the new 10 percent tax bracket. The goal in this case was to accord the highest priority to low- and moderate-income families by prolonged in time disbursal of the tax-relief checks based on the income tax burden.
The tax-relief legal regulations also have provisions to reduce the tax burden by allowing deductions for college tuition, student loan interest deductions, and tax benefits from government bonds issued exclusively in purpose of constructing public school buildings. There was a critique over the fact that the relief checks are being sent as a refund to the taxpayers. The criticism came from different sections of the population who support belief that the money should have been straightforwardly used for education. Also, an important feature of the tax-relief checks that has been pointed is that they are not rebates or refunds from past overpaid taxes, but rather they are an advance on the refund for the taxes to be filed in the future.