Ten Days (More Kudos to the IRS)

We owe tax almost every year. Yes, I make estimated payments, but my business has been growing, investments are making money, so my tax bill goes up every year. That means when I initially looked to see when our stimulus payment (aka “Recovery Rebate” payment) would come on the IRS’s “Get My Payment” website, nothing showed for us.

Additionally, we always file an extension as we wait for a K-1 that shows up in late July or early August every year. The IRS’s website was designed for 2019 filers; the IRS later added 2018 information. That was another reason it didn’t work for us.

On the weekend of April 25th, the IRS added 2018 capability and the ability for those who file $0 returns to use the Get My Payment website. (Zero dollar returns are common for individuals who file extensions, paying the tax they owe, and then later file the actual tax return.) On April 25th, I entered the required information.

On Monday, May 4th, the website noted that the stimulus payment would be direct deposited on Wednesday (May 6th). The IRS was wrong: the money was in the account on Tuesday (May 5th). That’s ten days, and the IRS deserves kudos for this. Indeed, given the constraints the IRS is operating under, this is a superb performance.

Yes, more work is needed for the Get My Payment website. It doesn’t work for expatriates (individuals residing outside the United States), many of whom do qualify for the payments. But overall the IRS deserves praise for getting this done and being able to serve most Americans within 30 days of the legislation passing.

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