Biden executive order to speed up stimulus checks for 8 million people – Community News
Stimulus Check

Biden executive order to speed up stimulus checks for 8 million people

Stimulus checks printed at the Philadelphia Financial Center in Philadelphia.

Jeff Fusco | Getty Images

While President Joe Biden advocates sending additional stimulus checks to millions of Americans, he is also helping those who have missed previous payments.

On Friday, Biden issued an executive order asking the Treasury Department to re-evaluate its stimulus control delivery structure to ensure that all Americans entitled to the payments receive them.

According to Biden’s order, an estimated 8 million eligible Americans have not received the first $1,200 incentive checks approved by the CARES law. Those same people could also have been left out of the $600 checks issued in December.

The Treasury Department can help rectify this by creating online tools for this population to claim their payments and setting up outreach efforts to let people know they can qualify for the money.

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“It’s a good sign that the administration is prioritizing this group of people who haven’t received their payments, and who are generally very low-income and in need of the help the most,” said Samantha Jacoby, senior tax legal analyst at the Department of Taxation. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

The new steps follow other efforts made last year to address this population.

The IRS launched an online no-filer tool that allowed individuals to submit their personal information to receive the funds. It was simpler than a tax return. At the same time, the government also launched a media campaign, sending letters to 9 million people letting them know they were eligible for checks.

At a hearing last fall, IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig estimated that 8 million eligible people had still not used the non-filer portal.

And the number of people missing checks could be even greater today, Jacoby said.

That’s because the $600 checks approved by Congress last month expanded eligibility for families with mixed-status households, where only one spouse has a Social Security number. Now family members, including spouses and children with a Social Security number, are eligible for these payments. That applies retroactively to the $1,200 CARES Act checks.

“I’m hopeful that the IRS will revamp the no-filer portal for this year,” Jacoby said. “It’s definitely easier than filing a tax return.”

The tool could be made more user-friendly, such as adding compatibility for mobile phones and making it easier for non-English speakers, she said.

In a statement released Friday, the Treasury Department said it plans to add easy options for people who haven’t filed tax returns, including those who don’t have internet access or don’t speak English.

The agency also said it plans to reach out to people regarding “hundreds of thousands” of unused $1,200 checks or debit cards that have been sent. The Treasury Department and the IRS will either reissue payments or encourage those affected to claim the money on their 2020 tax returns.

In addition, the agency plans to evaluate where more households have not received the funds to better target their reach to the affected zip codes.

“As part of this new effort, Treasury will build on the work done to date – including lessons learned over the past year – to reach households that have either failed to receive payments or were otherwise unable to access their funds. get,” the agency said in a statement. a statement.

For now, the IRS is urging those who still miss payments to request a chargeback credit when they file their tax returns. This year, tax filing season begins on February 12.

“If someone wants to get their payment as soon as possible, they need to file a tax return the first day the IRS starts accepting the returns,” Jacoby said.