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IRS unresponsive as Americans seek answers on missing stimulus payments

Many Americans are reporting frustration after not receiving their second stimulus checks within the past week, according to CNBC Thursday (Jan. 7).

The new checks, which are for $600 and were approved as part of Congress’s $900 billion package for pandemic aid, began to go out early in 2021 and reports said they had reached two-thirds of the recipients for the digital checks.

But instead of the instantaneous payments, some residents are receiving messages that they can only get their checks after filing their 2020 tax returns, per CNBC.

CNBC reported thousands of such emails from Americans in dire need of the checks to pay bills.

Compounding that are the reports from many of those people that the IRS hasn’t been responsive to calls about the issue, CNBC said, as many of them waited for hours at a time and then were randomly disconnected. According to the IRS, people need to check their website for answers — but CNBC writes that the website doesn’t offer much in the way of answers to peoples’ problems.

According to tax preparers like TurboTax, Jackson Hewitt and others, one reason for the mixup is that the IRS sent payments to more than 13 million accounts that weren’t open or valid. Despite those reports, the IRS hasn’t addressed this mistake, according to CNBC, only saying that issues could’ve arisen because the agency had to send out all payments by Jan. 15, and because of the speed, some mistakes may have been made.

The payments this time have gone faster than the initial round of individual checks from the CARES Act for $1,200 last spring, in which case only around half of them had gone out in the first two weeks.

There will also be further payments going out via paper checks and on prepaid debit cards. Problems from the last time, including payments sent to divorced spouses or defunct accounts, might occur because of the massive operation.

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