SSI, VA recipients must update family status by May 5 to get full COVID-19 payment this year
May the Tax Fourth Be With You: COVID-19 sequel

COVID-19 payments going to foreign students, as well as dead people

Returned mail

Confused about who gets coronavirus relief payments? Apparently so is the Internal Revenue Service's distribution system.

Thousands of foreign workers, many living overseas, were sent COVID-19 economic relief payments due to an unforeseen glitch that funneled the money, meant for U.S. taxpayers, to other countries, according to a Politico report. That story is this weekend's featured Sunday Shout Out.

Former foreign college workers: The payments mostly went to college-age workers who spent time in the United States during the last two years. That's the time period the IRS is using to calculate who gets how much of the stimulus authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Some of recent relief recipients went back home long before the coronavirus pandemic appeared and were surprised to find $1,200 checks deposited into their bank accounts.

"And with no clear guidance on how to return it, they’re holding onto the money or racing to spend it before the Internal Revenue Service realizes the mistake," wrote Ian Kullgren in the Politico piece.

Even those who plan to return the coronavirus money once the IRS tells them how are getting some advantage from it.

"It's in my savings account right now," a New Zealander who had attended a Pennsylvania university and got the check told Politico. "If it sits there for a while, at least I'll get a couple dollars from it."

Joining checks to the deceased: I'm sure Uncle Sam will figure this mess out, just like the one where COVID-19 economic relief payments went to deceased individuals.

Yep, that's still happening.

Todd Gillman, the Dallas Morning News' Washington Bureau Chief, has the story of a late Texas woman who got such a check, which even noted next to her name on the "pay to" line that she was dead. That article gets this week's second Sunday Shout Out.

Check on your payment: If you're healthy, still here in the United States and are what the CARES Act deems an eligible taxpayer, but are still waiting for your COVID-19 economic relief payment, I hope it arrives soon.

Meanwhile, check out the IRS' Get My Payment tool. It should tell you if you're getting any money and how to expect its arrival.

Even better, the agency recently did some work on it and it seems to be working for more folks. I finally was able to sign in and let the IRS know how to send it directly to my bank. We'll see if and when that actually happens.

 

Coronavirus Caveat & More Information
In 2020, we're all dealing with extraordinary circumstances,
both in our daily lives and when it comes to our taxes.
The COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to reduce its transmission
and protect ourselves and our families means that,
for the most part, we're focusing on just getting through these trying days.

But life as we knew it before the coronavirus will return,
along with our mundane tax matters.
Here's hoping that happens soon!
In the meantime, you can find more on the virus and its effects on our taxes
by clicking Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Taxes.

 

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