Millions at risk of not receiving the $1,200 check for the coronavirus, agency warns

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Millions of Americans may not receive check for coronavirus pandemic assistance even though they are eligible for it because of inadequate records from the IRS and treasury department, the Congressional Audit Arm said Monday in a report by the Office of Government Responsibility (GAO).

According to the report, more than 8.7 million Americans have not yet received the first $1,200 coronavirus aid approved by Congress because the IRS did not have all eligible people identified for help.

“The Treasury and IRS lack up-to-date information about how many eligible recipients have not yet received these funds. Lack of such information could hinder outreach efforts and potentially put millions at risk of losing their payment“, the office said in the report.

GAO requested audits of government aid programs related to the coronavirus pandemic and recommended that an audit guide be created for money disbursed by the Treasury.

Funding payments are expected this fall, but further delays in publishing this guide could undermine auditors’ ability to issue consistent and timely reports”, he said.

According to Treasury data, an estimated 30 million Americans were estimated to have not received COVID-19 aid payments in April. The IRS said that by the end of July some 5.3 million people had claimed payments online and estimate that about 8.5 million have not yet received the check.

Some people who did not have up-to-date information in the IRS for debts or because they didn’t do their taxes regularly had to provide the office with their banking information, through a digital portal called Get My Payment, in order for automatic payment to be processed. But there were people who still didn’t get any payment.

After the checks were sent, other Americans would receive a prepaid debit card loaded with their stimulus money.

Cardholders can make purchases at any retail store, including e-sales merchants where they accept Visa, take cash out of in-network ATMs, and transfer funds to their personal bank account without incurring any charges.

Congress and the White House passed a $1,200 economic stimulus check to help American families cope with the recession from the country’s coronavirus expansion. A new aid package is currently being discussed in Congress.

The Treasury Department said in June that Americans who file taxes and believe they are eligible for the stimulus check but have not received it could claim payment when they file their 2020 tax return next year.

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