"The idea is to target the money on the people who will spend a large share of it, and to target it on people who are likely to be hurt by an economic downturn."
Most taxpayers could expect a rebate of up to $600 starting in mid-May under the economic aid plan set to go through Congress within weeks. Couples could get twice as much, with even more for most families with children.
All that, however, depends on smooth sailing at the Internal Revenue Service, and the agency already is up to its eyeballs in filings and refunds.
The Treasury Department says that despite the strains of tax filing season, the IRS will be able to begin delivering the payments within 60 days after President Obama signs the plan into law, and complete the process in approximately 10 weeks, possibly sooner.
The payments would come separately from regular tax refunds.