What are the challenges the IRS faces for the distribution of a second stimulus check?

While the HEROES Act that has already passed by the House of Representatives is waiting to be discussed by the Senate, the IRS has to solve some problems so that a possible second stimulus check can reach American homes.  

Faced with the possible approval of new legislation in the United States Congress that provides for a second stimulus check, authorities must ensure that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Treasury Department have the necessary tools to reach the greatest number of beneficiaries in the fastest and most efficient way.

At a hearing last week before the House of Representatives' Financial Services Commission, Treasury Department Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said about 160 million stimulus payments have been distributed for more than $ 260,000 millions of dollars.

Likewise, IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig highlighted a similar figure at a Senate hearing last week, although he acknowledged some flaws in the process.

But the process that started in early April with the direct deposit of millions of economic impact payments has been marked by several drawbacks.

To begin with, many of these problems are related to the lack of information the IRS has about recipients who have had to supply the agency with their personal information after the distribution began.

Many potential beneficiaries, as of this date, are not even aware of this situation.


To that end, the office created the “No-Filers” tool, designed for people eligible for the economic impact payment who did not file a 2018 or 2019 tax return, and who do not receive retirement benefits; Social Security, disability insurance (SSDI), survivor benefits, supplemental income security (SSI), or railroad retirement benefits. 

The information on the page highlights that people who are US citizens or permanent residents, with gross income that did not exceed $ 12,200 ($ 24,400 for married couples) for 2019 and did not file a 2018 or 2019 tax return and were not required file a 2019 federal tax return, can make use of the application.

Get My Payment

The IRS also created the "Get My Payment" tool to track the stimulus check shipment status.
The previous application has also had problems. Users have complained that the site does not provide accurate information and that it displays an “error” or "payment status not available" message.

According to the tax collection office, this could be due to a review process for a problem with the information provided for direct deposits, or that the payment was sent to an incorrect account, a recurring problem that the IRS has admitted.

The agency was supposed to send a letter to the most recent address on file for each recipient within 15 days of the payment being sent, seeking to alert the beneficiary to how the payment was made. and how to report any flaws in the process.

However, this doesn't seem to have fully solved the problem and delays.

A recent report from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) indicates that at least 12 million beneficiaries have not received their minimum $ 1,200 check; most are low-income people who do not have to file taxes.

EIP Card

One last challenge to consider is the additional problems that sending payments in the form of prepaid debit cards or EIP Cards brought.

The federal Treasury pilot program under which cards were distributed to some 4 million people has not been as effective as expected since many of the recipients threw the payment away under the idea that it was fraudulent mail or a credit card promotion.

Because of this situation, officials from both agencies have had to respond to legislators both in the Senate and in the House of Representatives.


Online tools created by the IRS to distribute the first stimulus check more efficiently have not been enough. In view of the possibility that a new round of checks could be sent, the IRS should ensure that tools such as those mentioned above are more accessible and streamlined for users.

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