Coronavirus stimulus checks: IRS can't keep $100 million in payments from incarcerated Americans, judge rules
Detained Americans who were originally not eligible for coronavirus stimulus checks can now pick them up following a ruling by the Northern District of California District Court.
As a result of the ruling, at least 84,000 stimulus payments to detainees worth approximately $ 100 million are non-refundable, as previously stated in the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidelines.
"Detainees who otherwise qualify for an advance payment will not be disqualified as" eligible person ", Judge Phyllis Hamilton wrote in the ruling. "The IRS's decision to exclude detainees from advance payments is likely to be illegal."
U.S. President Donald Trump's name appears on Economic Aid coronavirus scans sent to citizens across the country on April 29, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)
Under the CARES Act, approximately 160 million Americans received a stimulus payment of up to $ 1,200 plus $ 500 per dependent. The original legislation, which was passed in March, did not specify whether people in prison or in jail were not eligible for payments. However, guidelines issued by the IRS in May stated that “A payment made to someone who is incarcerated should be returned to the IRS. ”
"The country is suffering from this pandemic and economic crisis, and people in jail and the families they depend on are no exception," said Yaman Salahi, partner at Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein who represents plaintiffs and the class . "Judge Hamilton's order will ensure detainees receive the much-needed economic assistance that Congress has allocated."
Read more: Coronavirus Stimulus Reviews: What Stops a Second Round Payment?
According to a report by a government guard, the IRS allegedly worked with federal and state prisons to repay stimulus payments made to detainees. It is unclear how many people in total will qualify for the stimulus checks after the judgment. However, the lawsuit alleges that 1.4 million are affected by IRS guidelines.
If you are not filing taxes and have not yet received a stimulus check, you can submit your information through the IRS Non-Filers Tool. The IRS has extended the deadline for this to November 21. Americans with earnings below $ 12,200 who did not file a tax return for 2018 and 2019 can use the tool to add basic personal information to receive payment.
You can check the status of your payment using the Get My Payment tool on the IRS website.
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Denitsa is a writer for Yahoo Finance and Cashay, a new personal finance website. Follow her on Twitter @denitsa_tsekova.
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