Americans on Social Security now have to file a tax return to receive a stimulus check. Most high school seniors and college students won’t get any money at all.
By Heather Long / *
April 1, 2020- The Trump administration is requiring Americans who receive Social Security to file a tax return to receive their $1,200 economic stimulus payment, an added step that is causing confusion and could prevent millions from easy access to relief.
Many lawmakers and advocates for the poor say filing a tax return shouldn’t be necessary for people on Social Security because the government already knows how to send this population monthly checks. The $2.2 trillion aid legislation, passed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, said that if someone has not filed a 2019 or 2018 tax return, the U.S. Treasury should get their information from Social Security, if applicable.
But, the Internal Revenue Service posted a notice on its website on Monday instructing Social Security recipients who do not normally send in a return to file a “simple” tax return, which will be available soon.
“People who typically do not file a tax return will need to file a simple tax return to receive an economic impact payment,” the IRS said. “Low-income taxpayers, senior citizens, Social Security recipients, some veterans and individuals with disabilities who are otherwise not required to file a tax return will not owe tax.”
A request to IRS and the Treasury Department for comment about the discrepancy was not returned. Democrats and some Republicans are upset that the Trump administration isn’t doing more to help ensure that as many Americans as possible get these payments during this national health emergency.
Forty-one Democratic senators sent the White House a letterWednesday asking why the Trump administration is placing this “significant burden” on senior citizens and the disabled. GOP Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri called it “ridiculous.”
* The Washington Post