More than 100 lawmakers urge IRS to resolve stimulus payment issues

More than 100 lawmakers urge IRS to resolve stimulus payment issues
© Greg Nash

A bipartisan group of more than 100 House members is urging the IRS to promptly resolve issues that their constituents are experiencing with obtaining their coronavirus stimulus payments.

"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 lawmakers wrote Thursday in a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig.

Reps. Suzan DelBeneSuzan Kay DelBeneDemocrats say affordable housing would be a top priority in a Biden administration On The Money: McConnell not certain about fifth coronavirus package | States expected to roll out unemployment boost in late August | Navarro blasts 'stupid' Kodak execs On The Money: Economists flabbergasted after Congress leaves with no deal | Markets rise as the economy struggles | Retail sales slow in July MORE (D-Wash.), Denny HeckDennis (Denny) Lynn HeckExclusive: Guccifer 2.0 hacked memos expand on Pennsylvania House races Heck enjoys second political wind Incoming lawmaker feeling a bit overwhelmed MORE (D-Wash.), Jackie WalorskiJacqueline (Jackie) R. WalorskiLawmakers press CDC for guidance on celebrating Halloween during pandemic More than 100 lawmakers urge IRS to resolve stimulus payment issues Scaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach MORE (R-Ind.) and Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersHillicon Valley: Trump backs potential Microsoft, TikTok deal, sets September deadline | House Republicans request classified TikTok briefing | Facebook labels manipulated Pelosi video Top House Republicans request classified TikTok briefing More than 100 lawmakers urge IRS to resolve stimulus payment issues MORE (R-Wash.) took the lead on the letter.

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Legislation Congress passed in late March mandated one-time direct payments to most Americans of up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per child. The Treasury Department said in early June that the payments have been sent to all eligible taxpayers about whom the IRS had the necessary information.

The lawmakers noted in their letter that millions of Americans received their payments with little or no difficulty. But they said that they've heard from some constituents who are still waiting for theirs or for errors with their payments to be resolved.

Some of the issues that lawmakers said their offices have heard about from constituents include delayed payments, those erroneously withheld for individuals with deceased spouses, difficulties with the IRS's "Get My Payment" web tool and confusion over the method Treasury used to transmit the payments.

The lawmakers said the IRS has "made a good faith effort" to provide information about the payments on its website, but that some of their constituents don't think the information provides enough clarity. They also said that constituents are dissatisfied with the IRS's telephone line for assistance on the payments.

Additionally, the lawmakers said that some constituents can't use the IRS's web tools because they don't have internet access, while others are uncomfortable with submitting their information because they're concerned about data security breaches.

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"Ultimately, we are concerned that the general information provided is not sufficient to address the unique and highly individualized situations that our constituents are facing," the lawmakers wrote.

The IRS has created a dedicated email inbox in an effort to address constituent claims received by congressional offices. But the lawmakers said that based on their staff members' experiences, "the line is not adequately staffed to address the volume of claims that have been received."

The lawmakers urged the IRS to "expand its capacity for casework assistance" and to resolve issues "in a fair and timely manner."

"When IRS telephone assistance resumes at a normal scale, we remain hopeful that telephone assistors will have the capacity to respond to and resolve constituent [economic impact payment] issues in a timely and satisfactory manner," they wrote.