So, the rebate has been approved by Congress. Yay. What the heck does this mean? It means the Senate and the House have come to a compromise (see here for their individual proposals) and now Mr. Bush needs to sign the thing. Then the money starts flowing. But how much money?
$300-$600 for Individuals
Up To $1,200 for Joint returns
$300 per Child
(Don't Mess With Taxes has a good post with a fact sheet breaking down possible refund scenarios)
You are eligible for the rebate if you had $1 or more in tax liability or $3K or more in Adjusted Gross Income for 2007.
This plan makes some winners and some losers. But the most notable specific that should be highlighted is that this is a pre-bate, meaning a pre-rebate for the 2008 tax year. So, if you don't get your full refund this year, you may be able to claim it in 2008. However, you may also have a lesser refund in 2008 for getting the rebate for 2007 (thus the "pre" in the name).
Additionally, there's been some argument over when the checks will come out. And there is some doubt as to the effectiveness of the rebate. Will the money be placed in the hands of those who need it most for spending? I guess we'll have to wait and see.