IRS Whittles Mail Backlog, Aims to Make Final Stimulus Payments

by Richard Rubin | Wall Street Journal

WASHINGTON— The Internal Revenue Service is still digging out from a backlog of
millions of pieces of mail and trying to get outstanding stimulus payments authorized by
Congress in March to as many people as possible this fall, Commissioner Charles Rettig
said Wednesday.


Advocates for prisoners are racing to help people claim their payments. The law didn’t explicitly exclude incarcerated Americans and set no minimum income level. The IRS later said that group was ineligible, but a federal judge in California ruled last month that the agency must pay them.

“We have received thousands of hits on our case information page and hundreds of individual requests for assistance from incarcerated people and their loved ones anxious to get the economic relief these one-time stimulus funds will provide,” said Mona Tawatao, legal director of the Equal Justice Society and Yaman Salahi of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP, which brought the suit, in a statement.

The money could help incarcerated individuals’ families and make it easier for people to pay off court-system debts, said SOnja Tonnesen-Casalegno of Root & Rebound, an Oakland, Calif.-based group fielding hundreds of queries a day from affected families.

“It doesn’t just affect the person in prison,” she said.

Asked why incarcerated people didn’t initially get the money, Mr. Rettig said that was a question for the Treasury Department and declined to comment further, citing the pending litigation.


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