The IRS changes the way social security recipients receive stimulus money


Questions about the $ 2 trillion stimulus package against coronaviruses have been raised since President Donald Trump promulgated him last week.

How the 64 million Social Security Americans will get their money is the most important of them.

After some back and forth between policy analysts, legislators and the Internal Revenue Service, here’s where the federal government has landed: people who receive Social Security payments don’t need to file any type of return. income – “simple” or otherwise – to receive a Payment stimulus.

“It’s automatic,” the IRS clarified in a tweet Wednesday evening.

Where it started

Congress passed the CARES law last week to induce spending in a possible economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

By law, adults who earn less than $ 75,000 a year should receive $ 1,200 (or $ 2,400 for married couples), plus an additional $ 500 for eligible dependents. Retirees who receive social security payments are included in the package.

The Treasury plans to use direct deposit information from 2018 or 2019 personal taxes to transfer stimulus money.

Social security recipients don’t always file tax returns, but Congress has given them authorization under CARES law: the government could use their social security benefits statement, also known as form SSA-1099 , to send the money.

“The knowledge that they had nothing more to do for the benefits provided relief to the elderly,” said Forbes.

Then the IRS released its first set of stimulus payment guidelines – and it contradicted that.

In a section called “I am generally not required to file a tax return. Can I still receive my payment? The IRS said yes, but only if they filed a so-called simple tax return.

Screen capture 2020-04-02 at 10.39.42 AM.png
In an initial set of guidelines, the IRS told seniors and social security recipients who generally do not pay taxes that they should do so to receive their stimulus checks. IRS directive screenshot March 30

In response, the Washington Post reported that 34 senators had sent a letter to the White House asking “why the Trump administration places this” significant burden “on the elderly and the disabled.”

More than 15 million low-income social security recipients do not report taxes, the Post reported, and about 3.5 million were excluded from the last round of stimulus checks during the 2008 recession because they did not send a statement.

Chye-Ching Huang, senior director of economic policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, told Forbes that the CARES law was drafted to avoid these exclusions – it explicitly authorizes the Treasury “to issue checks on the basis information available on the Security Administration social site. “

Reverse course

The IRS and the Treasury caved in on Wednesday.

In a press release, the Treasury abandoned its previous instructions and announced that it would – as provided for in the CARES law – use forms SSA-1099 and RRB-1099 to generate stimulus payments.

“Social security recipients who are generally not required to file a tax return do not need to take action and will receive their payment directly into their bank account,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin in a press release clarifying the change.

The IRS has also updated its guidelines.

As it currently stands, seniors, social security recipients and railway retirees who do not have to file a tax return will still receive stimulus payments of $ 1,200 per person. However, they will not get additional funds for dependents.

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Hayley is a real-time reporter at the Charlotte Observer covering the latest news and trending stories in the Carolinas. She also created the unofficial birdbeat of the Observer (est. 2015) with a summer full of bird watching content, including a story about the Striped Owls in love.


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