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Missing stimulus payments leave Americans with some important, unanswered questions

Brittany De Lea

Many Americans have a lot of questions about their economic impact payments – which some have yet to receive – even as discussions about a second round heat up on Capitol Hill.

In a letter to the IRS made public Thursday, a group of bipartisan lawmakers said their constituents are facing extreme economic hardship and need the federal assistance as soon as possible.

“While the IRS claims that all issues may ultimately be resolved with 2020 tax filings in the next calendar year, for many of our constituents, that wait is simply untenable,” the letter read.

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Here’s a look at the biggest issues residents are having:

Is your paper return holding up your economic impact payment?

Lawmakers say constituents who filed paper returns for 2019 are concerned that the delay in processing those documents is also holding up their stimulus checks. These are people who may not have had information on file from a previous year – and thus appear to be waiting until the return is processed for action on their federal aid.

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Widowers have checks mistakenly withheld

Lawmakers say that people whose spouses have died are erroneously having their payments withheld due to an error that allegedly marked “debt” on the late spouse’s record rather than deceased. While the mistake has been acknowledged, people are having a difficult time resolving it.

No direct deposit

Some people with direct deposit information on record with the tax agency said they have not received the deposit and are unclear as to what they need to do to obtain it.

Trouble tracking payments

Individuals also report getting unclear responses via the IRS’ Track My Payment tool.

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Lawmakers are discussing the possibility of issuing a second round of direct payments to individuals. GOP leadership has said these payments would be more targeted toward lower-income and jobless individuals, and an income limit of $40,000 has been floated.

Details of a “Phase 4” relief proposal are expected to be introduced by Republicans next week, with hopes to reach an agreement on a final bill before lawmakers leave for August recess.

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