“This is primarily a problem related to people who are not applicants. Therefore, in most cases, they don’t file income taxes because they don’t earn enough to file federal income taxes,” Brian Deese, director of the National Economic Council, told a press conference at the White House.
The proposed online portal is a result of the existing IRS non-filer website that was set up last year to ensure that names and contact information have been registered for payments. Initial payments were distributed based on tax returns for the past two years, but not all eligible recipients were in these databases as not everyone is required to file tax returns.
Still waiting: The Treasury and IRS ran two rounds of direct payments to individuals and households last year, the first under the Coronavirus Aid Act in March, the CARES Act, and then again after the Follow-up Act came into effect in December.
However, a host of problems prevented millions of eligible recipients from quickly getting the money they were owed, and many are still waiting.
“Up to 8 million households may be eligible, but have not yet received any payments under the CARES bill signed in March. Many of these households could be legally entitled to up to $ 1,200 per adult, ”said a department sheet that outlines the plan.
The goal is to get money out the door fast to help eligible recipients who have not accessed their payments for various reasons.
Other channels: In addition to the web tool, Treasury and IRS will also reissue unclaimed economic relief payments from last year.
Hundreds of thousands of checks and debit cards approved by the CARES Act have never been cashed or activated. Some were accidentally thrown away. For example, debit cards were sent in discreet envelopes that many people thought were junk mail or fraudulent offers, so they tossed them in the trash.
In addition to reissuing these, the Treasury Department and the IRS will deactivate previously issued debit cards when new payments are made to prevent fraud, they will also take steps to encourage those who have not used their services to do so in their 2020 tax return due this year.
In some cases, more education and awareness is needed, Deese said, pointing to plans to continue working with non-governmental groups to reach out to the neglected. The IRS also formed similar partnerships last year.
The underlying range will also try to establish a connection to people who have no or limited internet access, as well as to people who do not speak English.
The Treasury and IRS also plan to better target unserved households by using information such as addresses and zip codes about beneficiaries of other government aid programs to help identify some who have missed payments.
Separate action: In addition to directing Covid-19 relief through executive order, Biden is taking other actions, including swiftly lifting an executive order that affects Treasury and IRS employees involved in tax regulations.
Legislators praised Biden’s decision to remove the new Schedule F worker classification for all federal employees working on regulations across government that would have deprived them of many health and safety measures. Former President Donald Trump issued the policy in October, urging the agencies to begin reformulating Schedule F on January 19.
Critics said it effectively resulted in federal employees who made rules being on par with political officials – a negative for tax collection.
“The Ways and Means Committee has previously requested this, as it will preserve the impartial character of the tax administration and limit the politicization of the federal government’s public service,” said the chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) Said in a statement.