The rebates range from $300 to $1,200 and are the centerpiece of the government's $168 billion stimulus package, enacted in February, to brace the teetering economy. Roughly 130 million households are expected to get them.
"This money is going to help Americans offset the high prices we're seeing at the gas pump, at the grocery store, and will also give our economy a boost to help us pull out of this economic slowdown," Mr. Bush said Friday in brief remarks at the White House.
Mr. Bush estimated that next week nearly 7.7 million Americans will receive their tax rebates by direct deposit. The IRS will start mailing checks on May 9, the president said.
The IRS says all checks for those who filed tax returns on time are scheduled to be deposited or mailed by July 11.
The Bush administration is hoping that people will spend the money, helping to bolster the economy.
"It's obvious our economy is in a slowdown," Mr. Bush said.
Earlier this week, the president denied the nation was in a recession, instead saying, "We are in a slowdown." But many economists believe the economy may already be in a recession.
A trio of crises - housing, credit and financial - has threatened to plunge the economy deep into recession.
The economy grew at an anemic 0.6 percent in the final three months of last year and is believed to have gotten even weaker in the first three months of this year. The government will report on the first quarter's performance next week. A growing number of analysts believe the economy is shrinking now.
With the economy faltering, the nation's unemployment rate has climbed to 5.1 percent, the highest since September 2005, when it suffered from the devastating blows of the Gulf Coast hurricanes. Job losses in the first three months of this year neared the quarter-million mark.
The collapse of the once high-flying housing market has been the biggest weight on the economy.
With many people watching their single-biggest asset - their home - falling in value, they have been less inclined to spend, weakening the economy.
Foreclosures have surged to record highs and financial companies have taken multibillion losses on mortgage investments that soured. The situation has sent a tremor through Wall Street and has sent the administration, Congress and presidential contenders looking for ways to provide relief.