Q&A:The IRS doesn’t need your worry

Dear Liz: My mother received a stimulus payment on behalf of my late father in April. Per an IRS directive on May 6, I returned the money to the IRS. As of Aug. 1, the check I sent has not been cashed. I have made two phone calls to the specific IRS phone number that deals with any stimulus payment issues and both times have been told, “Don’t worry about it.” Do you have any suggestions for us?

Answer: Yes. Don’t worry about it. And stop calling.

The IRS is dealing with a tremendous backlog that accumulated while its operations centers were shut down because of the pandemic. Although the centers have reopened, the pandemic is still affecting the agency and probably will do so for some time.

The IRS recently warned that “live assistance on telephones, processing paper tax returns and responding to correspondence continue to be extremely limited.” The IRS will cash the check eventually; your calls won’t speed that up and will unnecessarily tax an already overwhelmed system.

In the future, consider using the IRS’ online payment systems. They’re safer than sending checks in the mail and you’ll get instant confirmation that your payment was received.

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  1. Helen Daniel says

    No Stimulus Check.
    Due to some glitch, my electronic 1040 was not submitted to the IRS until May 11.
    I got my tax refund 7/29, but was told there was no stimulus check because my 2018 income was too high, I could request for 2019 with the 2020 filing. The agent sounded like he was juts trying to get me off the phone.
    Isn’t that past the deadline? Do I claim it via 1040-X? My 2019 income was way below the threshold. Thank you for educating me.

    • Liz Weston says

      It’s not past the deadline and you will get the stimulus amount when you file your tax return next year. The stimulus is actually a refundable credit that will be added into your 2020 tax return (the one that’s due April 2021). People who already received their stimulus checks will deduct the amount of they got from that credit. If they received more than they should have, they won’t have to pay the excess back. People who, like you, didn’t get a check but who qualified for one will get the credit amount added to their refund.