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IRS Doesn’t Have System For Fixing Virus-Relief Payment Problems

June 19, 2020, 8:32 PM

The IRS hasn’t yet developed a system for fixing problems related to coronavirus relief payments, such as improper payment amounts, the new leader of the agency’s Taxpayer Advocate Service said Friday.

The Treasury Department announced June 3 that it had delivered about 159 million relief payments, known as economic impact payments, worth more than $267 billion. The department has delivered the payments at a record pace, compared to similar relief programs in the past. But it has also made a few mistakes, such as sending some individuals incorrect amounts or distributing money to the recently deceased.

  • National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins said currently TAS and the IRS can solve payment issues if they stem from another problem not directly tied to the payment—for example, if the relief money is held up because there’s a delay processing the person’s 2019 tax return.
  • But the agency currently doesn’t have a way to fix direct problems, such as parents not receiving the extra $500 they were supposed to get per dependent, Collins said on a webinar hosted by the NYU School of Professional Studies.
  • “There’s not a process today in place to fix that,” Collins said, adding that TAS has recommended that the IRS address the payment problems this year rather than waiting for the next filing season.
  • She also praised the IRS for the number of payments it was able to deliver in a short period of time.

To contact the reporter on this story: Allyson Versprille in Washington at aversprille@bloombergtax.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Patrick Ambrosio at pambrosio@bloombergtax.com; David Jolly at djolly@bloombergtax.com

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