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This is nothing new... Google has always paid the year's final payment early, likely for bookkeeping purposes. In 2003, the final payment was made on Dec 17th, in 2004 it was Dec 16th, and it looks to be about the same this year.
So basically, there is a real possibility that we could get a Payment in Progress in our account TODAY (December 16th)?
I can't check my account now because I am at work (we have an office party), but you guys, go ahead and check your accounts and let us know whether your got that magical "Payment in Progress" message this early.