A CONGRESSIONAL watchdog revealed the federal government sent $1.4billion worth of coronavirus stimulus checks to nearly 1.1million dead people in the United States.
While it had been reported before that the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service sent payments to dead people, the amount and scope was unknown.
The federal government sent $1.4billion worth of coronavirus stimulus checks to nearly 1.1million dead people[/caption]
The Washington Post reported that U.S. Government Accountability Office, an independent investigative agency reporting to Congress, said the payments was a result of the Treasury and IRS rushing to disburse the payments totaling to $269billion thanks to the CARES Act.
The findings were apart of a GAO report issued looking at the near $3trillion coronavirus relief spending approved in March and April.
According to GAO, these payments are a result of the IRS having access to Social Security death records while the Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service do not.
These payments are a result of the IRS having access to Social Security death records while the Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service do not[/caption]
According to the report, Congress should “provide Treasury with access to the Social Security Administration’s full set of death records, and require that Treasury consistently use it, to help reduce similar types of improper payments.”
It was also recommended that the IRS consider cost-effective options to notify ineligible recipients on how to return payments they received.
The IRS said in early May that payments issued to dead people need to be returned.
Plans on how do to that have not be announced.
The IRS said in early May that payments issued to dead people need to be returned[/caption]
The GAO report notes of other mistakes made in the “mad dash to pass legislation” including limited progress in distributing funds and the possibility that people are getting wages from PPP loans and enhanced unemployment benefits at the same time, the Washington Post Reported.
According to GAO, questions were raised by the IRS that payments could go to people who filed 2018 or 2019 tax returns but died after filing.
It was determined that the IRS did not have authority to deny payments to those who filed returns, even if they died shortly after.
Washington Post reported that the Treasury was unaware payments might go to any deceased.
However, after seeing it happen in initial payments, the Treasury and Bureau of the Fiscal Service obtained temporary access to Social Security death records to avoid further payments.
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