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While a lot has been written about when the second stimulus check will go out, many are still waiting for some or all of their first stimulus check. Until now, taxpayers were pretty much on their trying to navigate the IRS website. Starting today, however, those still waiting for their first Economic Impact Payment (EIP) may be able to get help.
The help comes from the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS). The TAS is an independent organization within the IRS that protects taxpayers’ rights by making sure all taxpayers are treated fairly.
Until today, the TAS couldn’t provide taxpayers help getting their first stimulus check. They were able to help taxpayers on other issues as best as they could given limited IRS operations during the Covid-19 crises. According to a recent post on the NTA (National Taxpayer Advocate) blog, however, they have been “urging the IRS to find a way to get full payments to these individuals now, rather than forcing them to wait until they file a 2020 tax return in early 2021.”
The TAS reports that while the IRS has not committed to resolving all missing stimulus payments now, it has established procedures and committed to correct EIP issues in five specific situations:
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Scenario #1: Eligible individuals who used the Non-Filer Tool and claimed at least one qualifying child but did not receive the qualifying child portion of the EIP. The IRS will issue supplemental EIPs with respect to those qualifying children in the coming weeks.
Scenario #2: Eligible individuals who filed Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation (or can complete and return the Form 8379), and did not receive their EIP. The IRS will issue the injured spouse’s portion of the EIP in the coming weeks.
Scenario #3: Eligible individuals whose EIP was based on a 2018 or 2019 tax return where the IRS adjusted the return for a math error that negatively impacted the original amount of the EIP (e.g., Qualifying Child, Adjusted Gross Income, filing status). The IRS can work with the taxpayer to resolve the math error and, if appropriate, issue a payment for the additional EIP amount.
Scenario #4: Eligible individuals who were victims of identity theft and did not receive an EIP or did not receive the correct EIP amount. The IRS will adjust the EIP once the identity theft issue is resolved.
Scenario #5: Eligible individuals who did not receive an EIP because they filed a joint return with a deceased or incarcerated spouse and their EIP payment was not issued, was returned, or was canceled. The IRS will recalculate the EIP and issue it only to the non-deceased/non-incarcerated spouse.
As issues with the first stimulus payment are resolved, the method of payment varies. For those who received a partial payment, the remaining amount (typically for dependents) will be paid in the same manner as the first. If the taxpayer previously received a debit card, however, the IRS will issue a paper check.
As noted above, the IRS didn’t have a process in place to resolve EIP cases, and therefore, the TAS was unable to help taxpayers. Give these changes, TAS will now accept cases for taxpayers who have EIP issues in one of the above five categories.
The TAS will be issuing additional guidance to assist taxpayers in resolving issues related to the first stimulus payment. As explained by the TAS:
“TAS will be providing more specifics to assist taxpayers in understanding whether their EIP will be corrected now or they will need to wait until they file their 2020 tax return in 2021. We will also be providing more details about whether taxpayers with EIP issues qualify for TAS assistance and the best way to reach us for assistance.”
The TAS contact information is available here.
This story will be updated as the TAS provides additional information.
Here are additional resources to follow this developing story: