IRS works through glitches with stimulus checks

May 15, 2008 5:53:51 PM PDT
If you requested to have your economic stimulus payment directly deposited into your banking account, for most it should already be there.

But for many, that's not the case and for an unlucky few, their money went to someone else!

The IRS is busy fixing glitches with the Economic Stimulus Plan.

In one day alone last week, the IRS fielded more than six million calls. The calls are coming from taxpayers who haven't seen any of the money they say should already be in their accounts.

A handful of people fell victim to an IRS scam, claiming to help you get your payment early.

The Web site asks for your debit card number, verification code and ATM pin.

"If the IRS needs to contact a taxpayer, generally that taxpayer will receive a letter in the mail from the IRS through the postal service," said IRS spokesperson Mark Hanson. "We're not going to send e-mail messages or call you out of the blue."

Others haven't been paid because the IRS about 1,500 deposits went to the wrong bank accounts. They're working to resolve those issues and handle legal questions from others, like one Raleigh woman who claims the state department of social services intercepted her check.

Eyewitness News checked with the department of social services. DSS said it is legal for its department, acting as a government agency, to take checks from people who are over paid with food stamps or have failed to pay child support.

For the most part, the IRS says things are running smoothly, considering to date, it has deposited more than 30 million stimulus payments with a lot more to go.

A lot of taxpayers had grand plans on how to spend the extra few hundred dollars, but that's changing. Many are depending on their checks to make ends meet.

Todd Broadhurst is one of many waiting for his check.

He says he needs it to help with the cost clothes, food and rent. "I was told it was suppose to come in 10 days, but it's been two weeks."

Jessica Krieger is also waiting, but until Eyewitness News showed her the IRS Web site, she thought her check was already in the bank.

"I'm going to go home and check my bank account," Krieger said.

She had no idea her check isn't even supposed to deposit until Friday, May 16.

"All I heard was they were being released based on the last two digits [of your social security number]," Krieger explained. "I had no idea there was a date [and] time frame. I think people have been just kind of like where is my check cause they saw that they were going to be released on May 2."

With soaring prices for diesel, dry cleaning and dairy, more and more are relying on their check to make ends meet.

Or like Krieger, to pay off student loans, credit card debt and to fill up the gas tank.

"Originally, my boyfriend discussed using our checks to go on vacation, but with all the stuff in the economy, it doesn't seem it's a good way to spend the money," she said.

The economy has Broadhurst and his family staying home more.

"I don't go out as much," he said. "Everything is sky high."


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