Legalzoom Factoid: Have you received your IRS check yet? In the next few months, millions of Americans will be receiving a check in the mail from the U.S. Treasury. Many people think it's a refund of the taxes paid last year; is it? Nope. Technically, the checks sent out in the Spring and Summer of 2001 are advances on the taxes Americans are paying now (through paycheck withholding) or the taxes they will pay next April, when the tax rates are scheduled to go down a bit.