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IRS glitch leads to thousands of foreign workers getting stimulus checks: Report

A glitch within the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has reportedly led to as many as thousands of foreign nationals receiving coronavirus stimulus checks intended for U.S. residents.

Many of the $1,200 stimulus checks to Americans coping with the economic downturn also went to foreign workers, many of whom are living overseas, according to a report from Politico. Allegations of misdirected coronavirus funds come from tax consultants and even recipients themselves.

Many of the unintended recipients are racing to spend the money before the IRS realizes what went wrong.

“We were contacted by a lot of our clients all of a sudden, on the one day when they started hitting their accounts or that the checks started going out, asking what to do,” Donna Kepley, president of the tax firm Arctic International, told Politico.

The tax firm has spoken with “dozens of clients” in the past days.

“And so we had to try to figure out how to return it, which is not easy,” Keply said, and added that “thousands” of foreign individuals likely received checks in April.

Young workers who have visited the United States in the past couple of years, many of them gone well before the coronavirus pandemic began, were shocked to discover $1,200 checks directly deposited into their banks. The ones who spoke publicly about the issue said they wanted to return the money out of fear of reprimand, but were unable to reach the IRS.

Politico spoke to three student visa holders who unexpectedly found an extra stack in their bank account.

“One day I just saw my account and I had 1,200 bucks without even requesting anything,” a French citizen who finished a graduate program at the University of Toledo in 2018 said about the surprise. “I knew they were planning to give stimulus payments but I didn’t know when it was happening.”

How did this glitch occur?

The incorrect payments are believed to be a result of a common tax-filing glitch, specifically with foreign college students on F-1 and J-1 exchange visas. These foreign students, who are able to work summer jobs, typically use TurboTax or similar e-filing services without realizing that these programs are intended for U.S. residents.

Consequently, there are many temporary workers who file incorrect tax forms each year. The IRS usually does not catch this error because Social Security numbers assigned to non-immigrant workers are the same number of digits as those assigned to U.S. citizens — making both sets look identical.

While this usually doesn’t cause a problem during tax season, this year became a blunder when the U.S. government apparently mistook many foreign workers as eligible for these one-time stimulus checks.

The Treasury Department did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Written by Jason Hopkins on May 1, 2020

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Founded by Tucker Carlson, a 25-year veteran of print and broadcast media, and Neil Patel, former chief policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, The Daily Caller News Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit providing original investigative reporting from a team of professional reporters that operates for the public benefit.

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15 Comments

  1. Richard Y Cloes May 2, 2020

    I hope someone gets fired over this and fined, note the IRS workers didn’t lose their jobs or medical benefits

  2. Anonymous May 2, 2020

    A lot of people I know who are retired have not received bed their monies. These people files
    D back in March.

  3. Gary May 2, 2020

    Dem-o-rats glitch……Hammer the deep state…..

  4. NIcholas Elder May 2, 2020

    I have yet to receive my $1200.00 check, must be because I am a retired US citizen, veteran, and a taxpayer. What a joke!

  5. Patriotson May 2, 2020

    Just shows government has become so, onorous that it cant function any longer.

  6. Joyce May 2, 2020

    We need to clean house!

  7. Alex Czeranko May 2, 2020

    Another reason to get rid of the IRS and go to a flat tax rate

  8. Farmer May 2, 2020

    Gosh. I’m a veteran with 27 years service and have yet to see a dime of the stimulus money.

  9. Betty Trybuski May 2, 2020

    I call BullCrap! Something stinks with this entire “mistake”

  10. Josey yahoo May 2, 2020

    Glitch my ass, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the glitch in a free nation. How much will this cost our nation? How much do we spend every year paying these slobbering idiots? Who was the fool that drooled on his keyboard causing this ?glitch”? What ever happened to the Abolish the IRS movement anyway? Trump has stated that he wants to abolish the IRS, sounds like we have an ally. The IRS is as they have always been, an illegal agency. The 16th Amendment was never ratified, this is a complete fraud and we have embraced it, only because our grandfathers were to complacent and figured, “it’s just for the rich anyway”? Is it any wonder that they think now they can pull this lock down crap? Make America Free Again! 1776 2.0

  11. k clark May 2, 2020

    Put “Stop Pays” on those checks!

  12. Dennis Collins May 2, 2020

    No surprise Here; I was Born & Raised in The USA, worked all my life & at 73 yes old, still working & PAYING TAXESbut I still haven’t received a STIMULUS CHECK… SURPRISE, SURPRISE!

  13. Bruce Anderson May 2, 2020

    Time to start firing some incompetent IRS employees. Like cutting a piece of wood, Measure twice, cut once.

  14. Loretta Wood May 3, 2020

    The IRS has become a group of gangsters. We must make the IRS PAY. I still think the deep state has hacked into our social security accounts, our bank accounts and medical information. They should receive severe punishment

  15. BonLovesFreedom May 4, 2020

    Whoever is in charge at the IRS office needs to be fired. This was not an error, this was done on purpose. How do we still have so many obama leftovers in powerful or managerial positions? Stupid! Just another knife in the backs of American citizens. We pay for everything, so they don’t care how they spend our money anyway. No accountability for any of their actions.

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