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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Glitches Delaying Dispatch Of 3rd Stimulus Checks: IRS Denies Systemic Issues

There have been individual reports of people not receiving their stimulus checks even though they were shown as eligible on the website. With millions still out of their jobs, while others have to worry about meeting their expenses as hours are cut leading to lower wages, the stimulus check is the only lifeline in these troubled times.

The third check arrived none too soon and millions were barely saved from the clutches of poverty. A majority of households continue to struggle to provide for their families. They have outstanding debts, are behind on their mortgages or rent, and any chances of saving for a rainy day seem just a dream.

Software Glitches Hold Up Stimulus Check

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Many people had to seek outside intervention to get through the maze of IRS bureaucracy, only to be informed that ‘programming error was holding up their stimulus checks. And that is where it hurts, being denied a stimulus check because of a systemic glitch, described in the various languages of officials as ‘programming issue’, ‘technical glitch’, or ‘technical issue’.

Many others have faced such ‘technical issues’, confirmed in a letter from the IRS. But many did not get a solution to the problem or at least a timeline, nor were their problem resolved immediately.

A Lifeline Too Far

stimulus check
stimulus check

The stimulus cheeks were considered as a solution to immediate pressing problems and even a delay of weeks can cause havoc in the financial position of an individual or a family.

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There have been numerous cases reported on social media platforms where people have grouped to air their grievances. They have received approval for the stimulus check but it finally did not materialize.

With no other means of employment, they are living in desperate conditions, defaulting on their bills, way behind on their utility payments, and watching helplessly as rent and home mortgages pile up.

None of these payments have been waived, only postponed to another day and they keep increasing.

There have been complaints that contacting the IRS hasn’t helped. People said that the staff there have been either clueless about the problem or have been downright rude. The frustration is compounded by the fact that while they have received messages confirming their eligibility, the actual stimulus check hasn’t arrived.

The problem is compounded by the fact the IRS has refused repeatedly to acknowledge the existence of such a problem. The people have every reason to be peeved. Returning empty-handed from the bank is especially galling when your friends and neighbors get theirs without even having to go through the hassles.

IRS Denies The Presence Of Any Computer Issues

IRS spokespersons have denied any ‘widespread’ programming issues linked to the rollout of the stimulus checks. They said that any information that labeled any delay as technical or systemic was misleading and should not have been declared as such.

The IRS has categorically stated that the agency has no problems of a technical nature related to the rollout of the stimulus checks. They further said that individual admission that there has been a glitch in the system was the outcome of uninformed and poor communication.

They said that there has never been any instance where the stimulus payment of an individual has been delayed or held up due to technical issues.

Stimulus Checks May Be Delayed Due To Unresolved Issues With The Account Of Individual: IRS

Stimulus Check
Stimulus Check

The IRS has said that there have been instances when the stimulus check was delayed as there were issues or conditions that had to be determined before a payment could be made. They have given the example of the amended income tax returns, which had to be processed further before eligibility could be confirmed.

There are a number of similar conditions that could delay the payment of a stimulus check. But they have not given any other instances of issues that could lead to the delay or withholding of a stimulus check.

The IRS said that they were apologetic for the misinformation that some people were subject to. The taxpayers who faced such delays reported that they were not required to submit amended returns.

The authorities have to date delivered over 169 million stimulus checks to people even since the stimulus check payments were started under the American Rescue Plan. Officially called the Economic Impact Payments, these direct stimulus funds were one part of a slew of measures undertaken by the Biden administration to support people who were affected by the economic downturn brought on by the pandemic.

A  total of $395 billion has been paid. An approximate payment of $410 billion is expected to be finally paid, so it is safely assumed that a majority of the payments have been made.

The IRS Has Faced Technical Issues In The Past

The IRS has faced technical problems in the past and this is proved by a report. An annual report by the National Taxpayer Advocate has recommended an immediate update of technology in the IRS to improve communication and smoothen the payment process within the IRS. The NTA is an independent entity inside the IRS.

The NTA has also advised lawmakers to release funds to the IRS to expand their digital services under an urgent modernization plan that is sorely needed within the IRS.

There is also a severe shortage of manpower within the IRS as it is required to make short-term changes in the law and adapt to ever-changing scenarios. This includes the changes brought about by the current expansion in the child tax credit laws that will ultimately result in advance monthly payments as an advance against the 2021 income tax returns.

But that is small consolation for individuals and families who are yet to get the $1,400 third stimulus payments that were first paid out in March 2021. Some people who have not received their stimulus checks feel that their circumstances are not that common and that it should give way to a situation that requires the express intervention of the IRS. The payments are being sent on a massive scale and any technical glitch in the system could lead to millions getting through.

The IRS has said that people who miss out on the third stimulus check have the option of claiming that amount in their 2021 tax returns they will file in 2022. But that process would lead to a delay of a year. That would appear tax unfair when a defeat the very purpose of the stimulus check that was envisioned to be an emergency fund to help people out of a situation that is real and immediate.

One unfortunate taxpayer who had her stimulus check delayed for no apparent reason said that if the IRS finds a way to take what is owed to the government from the exact account, they should surely have the means at their disposal to deposit the correct stimulus check in the correct account without having to complain about technical issues.

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