Holiday gifts came early for some residents who started getting their rebate, refund, and federal stimulus checks yesterday. Other checks will be delivered this morning.
Lt. Gov. Eloy S. Inos said that some 1,000 federal stimulus, rebate, and refund checks totaling an estimated $1 million were released starting yesterday to those who filed their 2010 income tax returns early.
After the release of the first batch of checks, the following batches will be issued every two weeks on an increment of some $500,000, Inos said.
“We want to let the public know that we have begun the process of [releasing] tax refund, rebate [checks],” Inos said, responding to Saipan Tribune questions yesterday at the ribbon cutting for the new Hemodialysis Center in Garapan.
Samuel Navarro, 45, went to check their mail box at the post office in Chalan Kanoa around 4pm yesterday to see whether they got their child tax credit check estimated at $1,000 but to his surprise, what he got was his wife’s 2010 rebate check worth $866.22 instead.
“I came here for the child tax credit check, what I got was a rebate check and it’s okay,” said Navarro, who was also accompanied by their daughter Jaime, 8.
The father of one said he and his wife will use the rebate check to settle their household bills, buy clothes, and perhaps a nice Friday night dinner.
He said his wife filed her 2010 tax return sometime in March this year, ahead of the April 15 deadline.
The Fitial administration is looking at the release of a total of 12,000 checks amounting to $7 million to $8 million by December, including the ones that were already mailed out starting yesterday.
Inos said the administration is thankful for the public’s patience during the past months.
“We were happy to release the advance child tax credit in time for the school opening [in August]. We know that’s an important source of funding for the parents and of course that helps the kids. Now we’re into the second phase of the project, which is to issue out the ‘making work pay credit’ or stimulus, refund, and rebates based on dates of filing,” he added.
For tax year 2010, the “Making work pay credit” which people refer to as federal stimulus check of up to $400 is available for eligible taxpayers.
Marie Babauta, supervisor at Island Business Systems and Supplies (CNMI) Corp., said she has yet to get her 2009 rebate check but she’s surprised to get her 2010 rebate check yesterday worth $422 and this was just a portion of what she thought would get—$791.
Babauta said she went to mail a letter around 1:30pm so she went to check her mailbox since she was at the post office anyway. She said she will deposit the check in her bank account for now.
While others who got their checks yesterday filed on or before March 31, Babauta said she filed her tax return on the last date of filing on April 15.
“I guess I’m lucky,” she added.
Becky Camacho, of San Roque, went to the Chalan Kanoa post office yesterday but didn’t find a rebate check in her mailbox.
“I don’t know when I will get my rebate check but I hope soon. I will use it to pay my CUC bills,” she said.
Press secretary Angel Demapan said that rebate checks will also be delivered this morning.
“A power outage [Friday] stalled the process as staffers were not able to run the postage stamp machine,” he told Saipan Tribune.
Yesterday was austerity Friday, but some of Finance’s Revenue and Taxation Division staffers worked on the distribution of checks.
Inos said the 12,000 estimated number of rebate and refund checks, along with the federal stimulus, to be released this year is lower than the numbers released in the past years by at least 20,000, mainly because of a decrease in population.
A refund is for tax that has been overpaid or incorrectly paid, and is returned to the taxpayer.
It is different from the rebate, which is for tax properly paid and is subsequently returned to the taxpayer under a rebate provision.