The U.S. Treasury announced that Social Security recipients will not have to file a tax return to receive a federal government payment to help offset the economic impact of the CCP virus outbreak.
“Social Security recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return need to take no action, and will receive their payment directly to their bank account,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in an April 1 statement.
The Treasurys statement reverses guidance the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued on Monday that said seniors would have to file a “simple” tax return to receive the money.
The payments, up to $1,200 for individuals, are part of a roughly $2.3 trillion economic relief package signed into law by President Donald Trump last week.
“The IRS will use the information on the Form SSA-1099 and Form RRB-1099 to generate $1,200 Economic Impact Payments to Social Security recipients who did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019,” the Treasury said in a press release.
“Recipients will receive these payments as a direct deposit or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their benefits,” the agency stated.
The change comes after pushback from lawmakers and advocacy groups, who argued that people like seniors or the disabled should not have to file a tax return just to get stimulus checks.
A group of 41 senators on Wednesday sent a letter to Mnuchin and Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul saying the move would burden the vulnerable and disadvantaged.
“This [IRS] filing requirement would place a significant burden on retired seniors and individuals who experience disabilities, especially given the current unavailability of tax filing assistance from Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs during the COVID-19 crisis,” the senators