Senator Says Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is Keeping Many Families With Children in Minnesota, Nationwide From Receiving Full Amount Owed to Them; Issue Must be Fixed and Payments Distributed as Quickly as Possible

WASHINGTON, D.C. [05/12/20]—U.S. Senator Tina (D-Minn.) is continuing the fight to ensure families get the full direct payments they qualify for under the CARES Act by calling on Department of the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to work with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) so families receive the $500 payment per dependent they qualify for.

Right now, for a variety of reasons, there are families who did not receive the cash assistance they are eligible to receive or have received only partial payments. These families are now being told by the IRS to wait until next year when they file their 2020 taxes to receive the additional assistance. Sen. Smith understands that many families are struggling and need help as soon as possible, and she is pressing the IRS to develop a faster way to get these much needed payment to families—rather than forcing them to wait as much as a year to get their correct payments they’re legally entitled to.

 

“These families–who were told by their federal government to rely on that assistance–will be expected to wait for the error to be corrected through their 2020 tax returns,” the senators wrote in their letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “This is simply unacceptable and we expect the IRS to send out missing payments immediately.”

“Across the country, families are awaiting financial assistance to meet their basic needs, including rent or mortgage payments, credit card bills, and food. The insensitivity of the IRS statement underlies this Administration’s clear misunderstanding of what this money will be used for, and the urgency by which accurate payments must get out the door,” the senators continued.

Sen. Smith and her colleagues want this problem remedied immediately, and recognize the need to better understand the full scope of the Trump Administration’s error so that future errors are prevented from happening again. and prevent it from happening again. That’s why Sen. Smith and her colleagues are calling for a response to their letter within five (5) business days and information on the number of Americans who have received an inaccurate payment amount, and a detailed explanation of any IRS quality control processes that were used for checks and direct deposits that have been sent. 

In addition to Sen. Smith, the letter to Sec. Mnuchin—led by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)—was signed by Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn).

You can access the letter here or below:

 

###

Dear Secretary Mnuchin:

We write to express our disappointment in the recent announcement that due to errors made by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the disbursement of the Economic Impact Payments, many American families with dependents did not receive the full amount owed to them.  These families – who were told by their federal government to rely on that assistance – will be expected to wait for the error to be corrected through their 2020 tax returns.[1]

This is simply unacceptable and we expect the IRS to send out missing payments immediately.

Across the country, families are awaiting financial assistance to meet their basic needs, including rent or mortgage payments, credit card bills, and food. The insensitivity of the IRS statement underlies this Administration’s clear misunderstanding of what this money will be used for, and the urgency by which accurate payments must get out the door.

We also ask the IRS to answer the following questions within five business days so that we can learn more about the details surrounding this error. 

  • How many Americans have received an inaccurate payment?

If that number is not readily available, what are the administrative costs of determining that number?

  • Does the IRS have an existing process of quality control for checks that have been sent?

We recognize that with the quick work expected from the IRS, additional administrative hurdles are inevitable. That said, we cannot expect Americans who are hurting to simply sit with that error for another year. We invite you to work with Congress to ensure the needs of the IRS are met, so that the American people get the assistance they are relying on in a timely manner.

Sincerely,