Tax Rebate checks really not all they are cracked up to be?

Tax Rebate checks really not all they are cracked up to be?

Something caught my eye on the recently passed stimulus package that will be sending everyone $300-$600 rebate checks this May. In the article it says

The checks are an advance on next year’s refunds, and most, if not all of the money, will be deducted from taxpayers’ refunds in 12 months’ time.

Which if I’m reading that right essentially means the government is just giving you a 12 month repreive on paying those taxes in and essentially you can expect your 2008 tax bill to be $300-$600 higher because they aren’t actually giving you money (as if the government can *give* you anything) – they are just giving you a 12 month advance that needs to be paid back next year.

Am I reading this wrong?

Edit: CNN has since removed the sentence that I quoted but if you google that sentence you will get a lot of people that picked up on the same thing I did. Also here is a MSN article that basically says the same thing.

Remember, this is your money you’re getting back, and the rebate checks are basically an advance on your 2009 refund. When similar rebates were sent out in 2001, said tax expert Mark Luscombe, “a lot of people were upset to see their (next) refund reduced.”

So basically to me this is pointless and short of earning a few bucks in interest myself it is a huge waste of time an effort by the government and I think they are being very short sighted – which we know when it comes to the economy/stockmarket/finances usually hurts you in the long run.