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The IRS has made their official announcement of the dates for distribution of the economic stimulus payments, and has also made a calculator available to help you see how much you'll get. If you got your 2007 tax refund direct deposited, you'll also get your tax rebate via direct deposit. Everyone else will get a check.

Don't forget: You have to file a 2007 tax return in order to meet one of the eligibility requirements to get a check. You must file that tax return even if you don't owe any taxes. If you owe back taxes, child support, student loans, or any other debt that results in your income tax refunds being kept by the government, you will not get your tax rebate. Any amount you would have received will go toward those debts.

The payments will be distributed based upon the last two digits of your Social Security number, with the schedule posted on the IRS website. Those getting direct deposits will get their money before everyone else, so if you haven't filed your 2007 taxes yet, this is an additional incentive to do direct deposit of your refund. If you file an extension and therefore file your taxes after April 15, your stimulus payment will be sent later too.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

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