IRS Starts Sending Out Payments, but There Are Snags

Direct deposits go through first, then checks will be mailed
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2020 5:30 PM CDT
Payments Go Out, but Millions of People Are Still Waiting
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin speaks about the pandemic Monday at the White House.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

More than 80 million people have already received their one-time payments from the IRS, mandated in the economic stimulus legislation, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said this week. Those are payments that the IRS was able to put directly into accounts. But there are issues in getting the payments to everyone else who is entitled to them, the Hill reports. "The easy part is the direct deposit payments, and the IRS deserves high grades for what they've done so far," said Mark Everson, a former IRS commissioner. "Now, it gets more complicated." That's true for Americans who don't have current addresses or bank information on file with the IRS, including those who don't usually file a tax return. They include low-income people.

That leaves about 60 million waiting for their payments, which max out at $1,200 per adult and $500 per child, per CNN. Paying by direct deposit was the fastest method, so that's where the IRS started. Paper checks will go out next, starting next week, to those who haven't approved direct deposit in the past two years. That will take a while; the IRS can only send about 5 million checks per week. One snag was resolved Friday, when the government announced that veterans and their families don't have to do anything to make sure they'll be paid; those checks will go out automatically, per NBC. At least a few of the payments have gone to people who are no longer alive, per CNBC. "We’re still working that issue," an IRS spokesman said. (An online tool lets people check on the status of their payment.)

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