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Well, the IRS changed the rules on the stimulus checks AGAIN!

Just right now, during the evening of April 1, the IRS once again updated its stimulus check guidelines for retired individuals who are not required to file a tax return.

Just to back up, last week the CARES Act was signed, approving $1,200 checks for many Americans.  Based on explicit language in the bill, everyone thought, OK, if you’re on Social Security, you don’t have to file a tax return because the IRS would make payments based on SSA-1099 information returns that the Social Security Administration already sends to the IRS each year.  They already know your numbers.

Earlier this week, however, the IRS, in its infinite wisdom, put out language stating this, word for word: “People who typically do not file a tax return will need to file a simple tax return to receive an economic impact payment. Low-income taxpayers, senior citizens, Social Security recipients, some veterans and individuals with disabilities who are otherwise not required to file a tax return will not owe tax.”

They said that they would soon provide information instructing people in these groups on how to file a 2019 tax return with simple, but necessary, information including their filing status, number of dependents, and direct deposit bank information.

However, as of some time in the past hour,  they have now removed that language from their website, and now it reads as follows:

Question: I am not typically required to file a tax return. Can I still receive my payment?

Yes. The IRS will use the information on the Form SSA-1099 or Form RRB-1099 to generate Economic Impact Payments to recipients of benefits reflected in the Form SSA-1099 or Form RRB-1099 who are not required to file a tax return and did not file a return for 2018 or 2019. This includes senior citizens, Social Security recipients, and railroad retirees who are not otherwise required to file a tax return.

So as of right now, we have good news: Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file an abbreviated tax return to receive an Economic Impact Payment. Recipients will receive these payments as a direct deposit or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their benefits.

And I hope that this stands because it is absolutely pointless to make people who the IRS already knows how much they make file a tax return.

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