Millions Will NOT Be Getting Those Automatic COVID Relief Checks — Here’s What Went Wrong

Written by Wes Walker on February 26, 2021

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It was supposed to be a way of streamlining the process and making sure that people got their checks on time with a minimal likelihood of fraud. There’s just one problem…

Last year was a paperwork nightmare because of the very same virus. You know what that means? That’s right, paperwork is pending, and unresolved IRS casefiles for millions of Americans.

That spells bad news for anyone counting on those ‘crumbs’, as Pelosi would describe that amount, being sent out from the government.

The IRS logjam is particularly difficult for low-income people who rely on tax refunds and stimulus checks. As of Jan. 29, the agency still hadn’t processed 6.7 million individual returns for the 2019 tax year. That’s a problem for anyone expecting refunds, which will be delayed. But it also means a long wait for the second stimulus payment of $600, which can’t be sent automatically unless a 2019 tax return has been processed. On Jan. 30, the IRS was still processing 4.6 million cases that involve amended returns and other special requests. Meanwhile, low-income filers have less access to help; as of Feb. 1, 78 out of the IRS’ 358 taxpayer assistance centers were closed.

After receiving the April letter, Brenneman called the IRS right away, and was told that the office was so backed up that her payment could take months to be processed, so she put it out of her head. In late December, another notice arrived. She called again, and after hours on hold, a representative told her to fax a copy of the check. Brenneman didn’t have a fax machine at home, so she couldn’t. Soon after, a third notice arrived. “You must pay your balance immediately or we will levy (seize) your property,” it threatened.

Fortunately for Brenneman, she had colleagues to turn to for help in filing a collection appeal, which is still pending. But taxpayers calling her office have underscored what a nightmare many of them have faced. “I’m right there in the same boat with you,” Brenneman said she tells them. –ProPublica

Friends of Democrats are getting their bailout checks — including many who haven’t even spent most of the money from their last bailouts. But struggling families who can’t go to work because the government has forbidden them from doing so?

They have to wait — probably until the economy reopens and the government employees in the IRS, who haven’t missed any paychecks — are back to working in-person and can address the backlog.

If that’s cold comfort, just remember: Democrats are running the whole show now. They don’t have any Republicans they can blame when things go sideways. (Even if they’ll still look for ways to blame Trump.)

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