A preacher in those days, when he felt God called him to preach, didn't hunt up a college or seminary, he hunted up a good horse, took off across the country and began crying "Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world"!
I appreciate all the answers. I do humbly disagree with Saint though on this item. "They are a REFUND of overpayment to the IRS". I have yet to know anyone who pays enough tax through their payrol deductions to get an actual refund. The way I know it to be is that all of us have deductions from our income but it does not cover what the government says we should owe. We then take deductions from various other items such as marriage deduction, child credits, medical bills, home ownership, etc., which then gives us enough to finally get a refund. That is why I feel that the income tax check is actually income because most people get back more than they actually pay in. For a number of years I did income tax returns for a friends company and after thousands of income tax returns I saw a pattern that I previously was not aware of.