Tax Rebate Consumer Alert

A warning tonight from the IRS You don't have to pay anything or fill out any forms to get your federal income tax rebate. But an official looking postcard that may show up in your mailbox may make you think you do. The Internal Revenue Service says solicitations like this have turned up in Mississippi, Florida, Missouri and Ohio. The cards are not from the government.

They're from a company in Boca Raton, Florida called Revenue Resource Center, which says it's a "Non-Partisan Bureaucratic Agency." The postcard looks a lot like a government document, with form number, a box that says "for official use only" and even a quote from President George W. Bush. For 17 dollars and 95 cents, the company promises to tell you how much you'll get back from Uncle Sam, and confirm you mailing address to "assure proper delivery" of your rebate check. Send another two dollars, and they'll rush the info to you.

Revenue Resource Center is careful to point out that it's not part of the IRS or federal government. But an IRS spokeswoman in Jacksonville Floria told us there's absolutely no reason for anyone to pay a middle man for any information about their tax rebate check. Anything you want to know about your rebate is available for free over the phone or on the web. The IRS is set to start mailing out millions of checks later this month. The first should arrive the week of July 23rd, and all the checks will go out by the end of September. When you should get your check is based on your Social Security number.

We did try to contact the Revenue Resource Center in Boca Raton, but director assistance doesn't have a listing for the company. And just so you know, the state Attorney General's office is looking into the solicitation, at our request.