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Gephardt: Thousands of Utahns still without stimulus checks as Congress debates second round

By Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV | Posted - Oct. 21, 2020 at 6:55 a.m.


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CLEARFIELD — Congress is still hammering out a deal that would mean a second stimulus check for millions of Americans. The IRS has scrambled to get payments out from the first round of stimulus checks before the end of the year, but it has stumbled in some cases.

Many Utahns still have not received their first economic impact payment, including a Clearfield man who got fed up waiting on the IRS, so he contacted the KSL Investigators.

"I'd just like to get my stimulus checks," said Thomas Abrams.

You might be able to hear the frustration in his voice. He and his wife have waited and waited and waited for the economic impact payments since April.

"That would be very helpful when we're retired," said Abrams. "We're both on fixed incomes."

Abrams said he kept calling the IRS over and over again, but couldn't get through until July.

"They said, 'Well, we can see that the money is there. It should be sent to you. It should happen within the next few weeks,'" he said.

Abrams believes the trouble started when he moved in March. That's about all he could gather from his most recent call, when he said the IRS representative on the phone told him there was some sort of mistake in their mail or accounting system.

Being told many others were in the same boat wasn't exactly a consolation.

"And I said, 'Well, that doesn't make it any more pleasant,'" said Abrams. "That doesn't give me my $2,400."

To get help, we took Thomas Abrams' case before the IRS and, while they pointed me to some thorough FAQs on their website, they told me they would not discuss what happened to Abrams' stimulus check citing privacy concerns.

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So, we turned to an expert — certified public accountant Scott Czaja, who has a handful of clients stuck in that same boat with Abrams.

"We don't understand the logic of why certain people didn't get it," said Czaja. "The way that stimulus check program was set up is that we don't understand the intricacies of how the government set up who was going to get it first and who wasn't."

While details on when certain eligible people will get their stimulus checks remain murky, Czaja said the payment will come. It may not be until 2021 and it may not come as a check.

"For those people who did not receive their stimulus check, they will be entitled to claim it on their 2020 return as if they paid that extra money if they don't get the refund by the time they file their 2020 return. So, they aren't out on it," he explained.

As for Abrams, he received some long-awaited good news. One week after we contacted the IRS, he finally received his stimulus payment.

If you're still waiting for your first stimulus payment there could still be help available to you.

There's an independent organization within the IRS called the Taxpayer Advocate Service. It reports to Congress, not to the IRS, and its job is to get through the red tape to get help for individual taxpayers, including issues with their stimulus payment. You can contact them here.

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Matt Gephardt
    Sloan Schrage

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