Pandemic Aid Update: IRS announces all stimulus payments have been issued. Now what?

The IRS announced on 16 February 2021 that all first and second round Economic Impact Payments (EIP) have now been issued.*  Get My Payment, the online IRS platform for taxpayers to track EIPs, was last updated on Jan. 29, 2021, to reflect the final payments and will not be updated again for EIP1 or EIP2. 

What if you are still waiting for your payment?

Individuals who didn't receive their Economic Impact Payments (formally known as the Recovery Rebate Credit) - or didn’t receive the full amounts – may be eligible to claim the payment on their 2020 tax return filing. 

Individuals will need to know the amounts of any Economic Impact Payments they were entitled to receive in order to claim the Economic Impact Payment on their tax return. The IRS advises that those who don’t have an Economic Impact Payment notice can view the amounts of their first and second Economic Impact Payments through their individual online account. Unfortunately, Americans abroad with an international address have restricted access to the IRS online accounts.  It may not even be possible to create one without sending a request by postal mail.**  

As the information about the EIPs in the IRS online accounts is CRITICAL to those claiming the Recovery Rebate Credit on their 2020 tax filing, this is unacceptable.  We are adding this matter to a letter we were about to send to Treasury and the IRS.  The letter also:

  • reiterates the recommendations we have been making for many months for improving the delivery of pandemic aid to Americans abroad;
  • notes the lack of clear advice to Americans living abroad about accessing pandemic aid;
  • seeks improvements to taxpayer support services to Americans abroad generally;
  • recommends the IRS establish dedicated support for Americans abroad staffed by operators with a specific understanding of the matters facing Americans abroad; and
  • calls for the expansion of FreeFile tax return preparation systems on offer from the IRS's private sector partners to ensure they fully service the needs of eligible non-resident taxpayers.

We will publish the letter after it is sent.  We will also share it with Congressional leaders and our friends on Capitol Hill and seek a response.  We look forward to reporting back.

DEMOCRATS ABROAD TAXATION TASK FORCE

* Beginning in April 2020, the IRS and Treasury Department began delivering the first round of Economic Impact Payments within two weeks of the legislation. The IRS issued more than 160 million EIPs to taxpayers across the country totalling over $270 billion, while simultaneously managing an extended filing season. In addition, since Congress enacted the COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020, the IRS has delivered more than 147 million EIPs in the second-round totalling over $142 billion.

The legislation required that the second round of payments be issued by Jan. 15, 2021. While some second round Economic Impact Payments may still be in the mail, the IRS has issued all first and second Economic Impact Payments it is legally permitted to issue, based on information on file for eligible people.

**  The IRS has published this information about access to IRS online accounts:

If you have an international mailing address, the only IRS.gov tool for which you can register is the Online Payment Agreement and you must request an activation code by postal mail. Generally, taxpayers or tax professionals with international addresses will be unable to register for Get Transcript Online, View Your Tax Account, Get an Identity Protection PIN or e-Services tools for tax professionals.