My daughter had already received and spent her stimulus money. This morning, she received an email from her bank; three more $1,200 deposits were made. We know she should return the money. Who do we contact?
I thought I’d heard all the bizarre stories about stimulus checks, but your letter proved me wrong.
I am receiving hundreds of emails every week from people who have not received their stimulus payments. People have said their checks were garnished for unpaid child support, while others are befuddled, bothered and bewildered that they didn’t receive a large enough check or no economic impact payment at all. Some taxpayers say they’ve received stimulus checks for dead relatives. One man said he was effectively “punished” by the government for being responsible because he filed his 2019 taxes early — and received $200 for his household.
“ IRS workers are working long hours, and I applaud them for going into their offices during this time. ”
Internal Revenue Service workers are working long hours, and I applaud them for going into their offices during this time. But there are many stories of people who have their checks withheld by their own partner. This woman told me her husband said, “You don’t deserve it because you didn’t earn it.” I received a flurry of emails from spouses, mostly men, who said they would not allow their spouses access to their $1,200 payments, with one writing, “I’ll never give my wife $1,200 to blow her stimulus check. She’ll get a couple of hundred bucks to go shopping.”
Your daughter can return the money via check or money order with the notation “2020EIP,” plus the Social Security number or taxpayer I.D. of the check recipient. Those people who received a paper check and did not cash it can write “void” on the back of the check’s endorsement section and mail it back to the IRS, according the IRS directions (see Q41), with an explanation. (Of the 4 million people receiving debit-card payments, some are mistaking the white envelopes for junk mail and actually throwing them out.)
“ Since mid-March, 46 million people have applied for jobless claims. ”
In 8 of the top 10 cities, the economic impact payment only covers between 60% and 71% of an estimated monthly budget for a family of four, this recent Lending Tree survey found. The good news: People who did not receive a check this year or only a small amount and believe their income will fall below the required threshold for checks next year could still receive a stimulus payment next year. The EIP is technically an advance payment of a tax credit on your 2020 return. The IRS is using 2019 tax returns to gauge people’s incomes; 2018 tax returns are used as a Plan B.
The IRS has sent out more than 150 million payments so far, which is most of the stimulus money that’s been set aside for direct payments to families and individuals. That will obviously be welcome for the more than 36 million people who are out of a job: 2.12 million unemployed Americans applied for state unemployment benefits in the week ended May 23, the Labor Department said Thursday, down from 2.4 million in the prior week. Since the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns started in mid-March, some 46 million people have applied for jobless claims, on an unadjusted basis.
I hope you and your family stay safe and healthy. Kudos to your daughter for returning the money.
Dispatches from a pandemic:Letter from New York: ‘New Yorkers wear colorful homemade masks, while nurses wear garbage bags’
You can email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions related to coronavirus at [email protected]
Would you like to sign up to an email alert when a new Moneyist column has been published? If so, click on this link.
Hello there, MarketWatchers. Check out the Moneyist private Facebook FB, -0.16% group where we look for answers to life’s thorniest money issues. Readers write in to me with all sorts of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or weigh in on the latest Moneyist columns.