IRS struggles to take out cash payments but faces personnel and systems challenges: NPR

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The headquarters of the Internal Revenue Service in Washington, D.C.

Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images

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Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images

The headquarters of the Internal Revenue Service in Washington, D.C.

Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images

The Internal Revenue Service is under enormous pressure to quickly disperse the $ 1,200 pledged to most people in the $ 2.2 trillion relief bill for coronaviruses. Experts say it could take months for everyone to get checks – some people may wait until they file their taxes next year.

Over the past 10 years, the IRS’s budget has been cut by about 20 percent, leaving the agency with aging technology and forcing it to cut staff and training, experts say. The added stress of the coronavirus is already causing headaches for customer service.

“There is a shortage of qualified people to do the job and they are overworked,” said Mark Everson, who was IRS commissioner from 2003 to 2007 under President George W. Bush. “If you’re going to receive a check in the mail, it could happen as late as the end of August. “

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Democrats in the House Wednesday that the first round of coronavirus payments will be made by direct deposit next week. Democrats in the House Ways and Means Committee estimate that around 60 million people would be eligible for these deposits – a small fraction of the IRS ‘estimated 150 million people will file taxes this year.

The remaining 90 million, as well as millions of others, are expected to wait for mail-in deposits, which takes time. But the headaches don’t stop there.

Some people may have made more than the $ 99,000 income cap last year, which means they would miss payments. But, if they lost a job and their income fell, they would be eligible and would have to return to the IRS in 2021 to receive their payments.

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