(FinancialHealth.net) – When Congress wrote the CARES Act, they made sure Social Security recipients who don’t file taxes would also get COVID-19 stimulus payments. Earlier this week, the IRS decided to make it harder on those Americans and force them to file tax returns. President Donald Trump’s administration set the agency straight on Wednesday.
On March 30, the IRS updated its website to add that Social Security recipients would have to file simple tax returns if they wanted stimulus money. Sec. 6428, paragraph 5, section B, subsection i and ii of the CARES Act specifically states otherwise, so lawmakers quickly pushed back.
Despite language Congress passed in #COVIDー19 relief bill to ensure Social Security beneficiaries would NOT have to file taxes to receive direct relief, IRS issued guidance saying seniors DO have to file taxes. That’s ridiculous. IRS should follow the law that Congress passed
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) April 1, 2020
I'm calling for the IRS to provide immediate clarity on the process for seniors to receive their stimulus check, following the info put out yesterday indicating some seniors would be required to first file tax returns before they can receive their COVID-19 crisis stimulus checks.
— Rep. Elise Stefanik (@RepStefanik) April 1, 2020
Two days after the IRS announced the change, the Trump Administration put a stop to it. On April 1, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin released a statement making it clear that people who receive Social Security would not have to file tax returns.
.@SocialSecurity recipients don’t need to file a tax return to receive Economic Impact Payments. Recipients will receive these payments as a direct deposit or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their benefits. Learn more here: https://t.co/czJSWcjAlt
— Steven Mnuchin (@stevenmnuchin1) April 2, 2020
The IRS updated its website and tweeted a clarification shortly after the secretary made his statement.
Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file to receive an economic impact payment. It’s automatic. More information from #IRS at https://t.co/hEEWmgHA9V #COVIDreliefIRS pic.twitter.com/JFeK2ekpUe
— IRS (@IRSnews) April 2, 2020
What that means is, if you’re a Social Security beneficiary who doesn’t normally file taxes, you won’t have to start now.
Why the IRS thought they could make up a rule that was in direct conflict with the CARES Act is unclear. The change they tried to make would have forced retirees to take unnecessary steps to receive the money they were promised — income they need to help them through the COVID-19 crisis. Fortunately, the Trump Administration straightened it out.
~Here’s to Your Financial Health!
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