The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has joined the U.S. Treasury Department in debunking a Washington Post report that coronavirus stimulus check delivery to qualified Americans was being delayed so that President Donald Trump’s name could be put on them.
Law360 reported on Wednesday on reaction from the IRS:
The IRS said that the payments [will] be distributed as planned after a Washington Post report on Tuesday said that the Trump administration made a last-minute decision to order the president’s name to appear on the left side of the paper checks. The report cited unnamed IRS officials who said the decision could delay the mailing of the checks by a few days.
“Thanks to hard work and long hours by dedicated IRS employees, these payments are going out on schedule, as planned, without delay, to the nation,” the IRS said in a statement. “The IRS employees are delivering these payments in record time compared to previous stimulus efforts.”
The stimulus payments were authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act signed into law by Trump last month. The legislation directs the IRS to send $1,200 to individual taxpayers and $2,400 to couples filing joint tax returns. The payments will be reduced for those with incomes above $75,000 or $150,000 for couples. They will be eliminated for people with incomes of more than $99,000 and $198,000 for couples.
The checks are being directly deposited into accounts on record with the IRS. Otherwise, paper checks are being delivered.
The Law360 article said that Michael Zona, spokesman for Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), said the president’s name has been regularly associated with recovery efforts under previous administrations.
“During economic downturns in 2001 and 2008, President [George W.] Bush included his name on letters sent in advance of recovery checks,” Zona said. “Notably, attaching a name to a check has a negligible expense, unlike the Obama administration’s use of costly signs across the country at construction sites built as part of the 2009 recovery legislation.”
As Breitbart News reported, the Washington Post’s article was first repudiated by the Treasury Department:
A Treasury Department spokeswoman … denied any delay and said the plan all along was to issue the checks next week.
“Economic Impact Payment checks are scheduled to go out on time and exactly as planned — there is absolutely no delay whatsoever,” the spokeswoman said in a written statement. She said this was a faster process than the stimulus checks the George W. Bush administration issued in 2008 to head off a looming recession.
“In fact, we expect the first checks to be in the mail early next week which is well in advance of when the first checks went out in 2008 and well in advance of initial estimates,” the statement said.
“Multiple Treasury Department officials confirmed to Breitbart News that the claims of a delay are inaccurate,” Breitbart News reported. “One Treasury Department official confirmed that President Trump’s name will appear on the paper checks, adding there will be no delay to make that happen.”
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