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Issue with first coronavirus stimulus checks? Help has arrived

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Though there is no news on the second stimulus package, we have some good news for those still waiting for (or having issues with) their first stimulus check. Until now, eligible Americans were on their own in contacting the IRS over any issues with their stimulus payment. Now, they may get help from a third party in resolving issues with the coronavirus stimulus checks.

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Help for first coronavirus stimulus checks

This help for coronavirus stimulus checks comes from TAS (Taxpayer Advocate Service), an independent organization that aims to protect taxpayers' rights. So far, TAS wasn’t been able to help taxpayers because of limited IRS operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The organization, however, has been requesting the IRS to address issues of the taxpayers this year itself, instead of making them wait for another year. As per TAS, the IRS has not committed to addressing all issues related to stimulus checks. The agency, however, has come up with procedures to address certain specific issues (in five categories).

Thus, TAS will now be accepting cases from taxpayers whose issue falls in one of these categories. Going forward, TAS is expected to issue guidelines to help taxpayers on how they can get assistance.

“TAS will be providing more specifics to assist taxpayers in understanding whether their EIP will be corrected now or they will need to wait until they file their 2020 tax return in 2021,” the organization said in a blog post.

Further, TAS said it would also issue details if taxpayers’ issues with stimulus checks qualify for “TAS assistance and the best way to reach us for assistance."

Cases that the IRS will look into

As said above, the IRS has shown commitment to address five categories of issues with the stimulus checks. Those five categories are:

  • The taxpayers who used the IRS Non-Filer Tool and claimed payment for at least one eligible dependent, but did not get the payment for the dependent.
  • Eligible taxpayers who filed Form 8379 for Injured Spouse Allocation but did not get the payment for the same.
  • The eligible taxpayers whose checks were less than the original amount because the IRS adjusted the 2018 or 2019 tax return for some math error.
  • If the eligible taxpayers were the victims of identity theft, and thus, didn’t get the stimulus check, or got the check of an incorrect amount.
  • If the taxpayer did not get the stimulus payment because they filed a joint return with a deceased or incarcerated spouse.

In case your coronavirus stimulus checks issue falls in any of the above categories, you can contact TAS for help. Hopefully, your issue would be resolved in the coming weeks. The TAS contact information is available here.

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Aman Jain
Personal Finance Writer

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