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IRS sends stimulus checks to the deceased
Marius Muresan |

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the IRS has begun sending out stimulus checks meant as financial relief in a time when 22 million Americans are out of work. While some of this has been getting to those who need it, many are still waiting for theirs to arrive and are confused as to why it hasn’t, while others experience a more horrifying reality.

The IRS has been dispersing stimulus checks based on 2018 tax returns, where individuals generating an income of $75,000 or less are qualified to receive a $1,200 stimulus check. This means that couples receive two stimulus checks as well as another $500 for each dependent child under 17-years-old.

The IRS has announced that it has sent stimulus relief checks to a little over 24% of Americans so far through electronic payments through bank account information the IRS already had. However, many in need are still waiting for their relief checks to arrive, such as veterans and senior citizens.

Additionally, problems continue to persist in areas on the IRS website, with numerous reports of glitches, according to The Washington Post. This has affected over several million people who filed their taxes through TurboTax, H&R Block and other online services, mainly because the IRS did not have their direct deposit information.

Numerous reports have been made of stimulus checks being sent by the IRS to people who are no longer alive, confusing and distressing many individuals in a time where people are trying to keep their composure while under quarantine. Individuals have received payments for family members who have passed away since 2018 and have been deeply disturbed by the arrival of payments for their dead relatives.

A situation such as the coronavirus pandemic can’t afford any room for error, especially in a country with the highest number of individuals testing positive as coronavirus carriers. Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky tweeted a photo of a text his friend sent him which said, “Dad got his stimulus check of $1,200. He died in 2018. Does he have time to spend it online?”

“We are aware of all the various issues involving surviving spouses and other heirs and are still working on them,” IRS spokesman Eric Smith said.

Malcolm Sparrow, a professor of Public Management at Harvard University, said that payments keep happening to deceased individuals as result of federal records not being kept up to date. It has been suggested that there is nothing preventing an individual from keeping a check for a deceased relative.

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