Federal News Network: IRS, Treasury sent 1M coronavirus stimulus payments to the deceased

“The IRS and Treasury Department rushed to get millions of payments out to the public in the weeks after Congress passed the CARES Act, but in doing so sent more than a million payments to people who have died.”

“The Government Accountability Office, in a wide-ranging report of agencies’ response and recovery efforts during the coronavirus pandemic, found neither the IRS nor the Treasury used death data from the Social Security Administration for the first three waves of pandemic payments ‘because of the legal interpretation under which IRS was operating.’”

“Without that check in place, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration told GAO the IRS has sent out more than a million payments to the deceased worth $1.4 billion since the end of April.”

“GAO says these findings underscore the ‘importance of consistently using safeguards’ when providing government assistance to taxpayers. The IRS relies on third-party death data from SSA’s Death Master File to flag tax returns for possible fraud, but Treasury and its Bureau of the Fiscal Service do not have access.”

“GAO recommends Congress pass legislation updating the Social Security Act to give Treasury full access to the Death Master File…” Read the full article here.

Source: IRS, Treasury sent 1M coronavirus stimulus payments to the deceased – By Jory Heckman, June 25, 2020. Federal News Network.

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