Less than a week after the Government Accountability Office said the Internal Revenue Service cut stimulus checks to 1.1 million dead people, a report Monday from Erin Collins, the National Taxpayer Advocate said the federal tax collector also sent approximately 74,000 checks to people who have been locked up by law enforcement.
The National Taxpayer Advocate is an office that is independent of the Internal Revenue Service, although the two agencies frequently collaborate.
Like the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, Collins noted how dead people received stimulus checks. (The new report said the IRS issued 965,000 checks, compared the 1.1 million checks counted by the GAO.)
IRS Delaying Stimulus Checks of Americans in Need of Cash
The US Government Accountability Office (USGAO) has stated that about $1.4 billion in COVID-19 stimulus payments were mistakenly sent to dead Americans.
The US currently remains the worst-hit nation, with over 2.4 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 124,000 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.
In a report on Thursday, the USGAO said that as of 30 April, nearly 1.1 million dead people had received payments of around $1,200 each, which were part of Congress’ economic relief programme.
“The number of economic impact payments going to decedents highlights the importance of consistently using key safeguards in providing government assistance to individuals”, the USGAO pointed out.
Kimberly Dyer was counting on her $1,700 stimulus check to help pay her bills after her work hours were reduced and her salary was cut in half because of the coronavirus pandemic.
But the check hasn’t arrived, even though the Internal Revenue Service’s “Get My Payment” tracking app says she’s eligible.
Neither has the $5,129 tax refund she is owed. The IRS has notified her that her 2019 tax returns are under review.
Dyer, a single mother and a social worker, suspects the two missing checks are connected. Hundreds of members of a Facebook group she created for people who haven’t gotten their stimulus check soon realized they had something else in common. They, too, have tax returns that are under audit or review.
Since the coronavirus struck our shores, my focus has been on keeping Americans safe and ensuring working people don’t get left behind. Their struggles today are greater than ever. Too many have suffered job losses, shrinking income, isolation, and health issues — all while caring for children and other loved ones.
The one-time $1,200 stimulus check that many Americans are now receiving under the CARES Act was a good start, but it does not go far enough as this quarantine enters its second month. Rent is still due, credit card bills keep coming in, utilities still need to be paid, our phone plans haven’t gotten cheaper, we still need to buy groceries to feed our families. How far do politicians think one $1,200 check can stretch?
That is why Representative Ro Khanna (D-CA) and I introduced the Emergency Money for the People Act, which will provide almost every American $2,000 per month until employment levels reach pre-coronavirus levels. Every American age 16 and older who earns less $130,000 per year will receive this money tax-free.
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A text shared by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) highlights a major issue with the stimulus checks currently being sent out by the federal government.
According to Massie’s text exchange, a friend received a $1,200 stimulus check for their father – only thing is their father’s been dead for two years.
“Ok this is insane, but just the tip of the iceberg,” Rep. Massie prefaced his shared image on Twitter. “This is a direct text to me from a friend. I called to confirm this actually just happened.”
In the text conversation, Massie’s friend tells him, “Dad got his stimulus check of $1200. He died in … 2018. Does he have to spend it online?” the friend jokingly inquired, adding a facepalm emoji.