DENVER (CBS4) – As congress is already beginning to contemplate the idea of passing a second stimulus package for eligible Americans during the coronavirus pandemic, some eligible taxpayers in Colorado say they’re still waiting on their original checks. The Internal Revenue Service, meanwhile, is asking for patience.
“It’s concerning on a couple of different levels,” said local resident Teresa Martinez.
Martinez says she and her husband file their taxes separately. Her husband got his stimulus payment in May, and she got her tax return refund back in March. But here in mid-July, Martinez is still waiting for her stimulus money to come through.
“I know I got my refund, it went straight into my bank account, so as far as I can tell, there should be no reason for mine to have been delayed this long,” Martinez said.
She tells CBS4 she’s been trying to find answers from the IRS website, but hasn’t gotten very far.
“When I go to the IRS website to the get my check page, the message that I get says ‘we’re unable to provide the status of your payment right now, because either we don’t have enough information, we are working on it, or you were not eligible, and I know I’m eligible,” Martinez said.
Now she’s wondering what went wrong, worried there could be a bigger issue she’s unaware of, like identity theft.
“I would love to know why, why I haven’t received it yet, what the hangup has been, is there something that I should’ve done or could’ve done a couple months back to prevent it from having such a big delay?” Martinez said. “(I’m) very frustrated. My hours were shortened a little bit, we are back to full-time now, so that’s great, but I was hoping to get that when my hours had been shortened, but I’d really love to have it.”
The IRS says it’s hard to say why one person specifically hasn’t received their payment, but in general, the agency is dealing with obstacles of its own created by the pandemic.
“We continue to pay these out, we continue to process them, we also continue to try to find ways to reach those who are eligible,” said Karen Connelly with the IRS. “We do understand their frustration, and we just beg for some patience, as we get people back to work, the phone line service will increase, we will better be able to answer taxpayer questions.”
The IRS says it’s paid out more than $267 billion in stimulus payments this year, but according to the Government Accountability Office, $1.4 billion was given to dead taxpayers.
Martinez, who is very much alive, just wants her payment to come through, preferably before a second batch is sent out.
“I’m sure I’m not the only one,” Martinez said.
Meanwhile, the IRS says it’s not sure just how many eligible people are sill waiting on their stimulus payments, as the U.S. Treasury is supposedly still tallying that data. But, according to the IRS, for some people who didn’t file income taxes this year, but are still eligible for a stimulus check, it could be as long as the end of the year before they see their money.