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Letter to the Honorable Charles P Rettig, Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service - Congresswoman Elaine Luria Holds IRS Accountable for Economic Impact Payments


Date: Oct. 22, 2020
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Taxes

Dear Commissioner Rettig,
We write to raise concerns over recurring errors by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in
distributing the Economic Impact Payments (EIP) authorized in the CARES Act. We request
your immediate attention to the misclassification of recipient's eligibility for EIPs, the lack of
transparency and clarity on unresolved EIP cases, and an update on how you are working to
address the concerns raised in a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.
As you are aware, the GAO report released in September, warned that millions of Americans are
in danger of not receiving EIPs due to incomplete or outdated government records. Our offices
have fielded hundreds of complaints from constituents whose EIPs have been denied or delayed
due to such inadequacies. Of special concern are the households whose payments were denied
due to a mis-recorded or out-of-date dependency status. To our great frustration, the IRS has
refused to provide such individuals any mode of redress, even when our constituents have
produced documentation verifying their claims. This refusal is made even more galling by the
IRS's admission that, "There may have been a system error when processing [the] return to
cause this issue."
Similar concerns have been raised about Americans being denied over mis-recorded immigration
statuses and out-of-date income information, as well as receiving incorrect payments because
duly claimed dependents were improperly omitted.
Equally troubling is the IRS's assertion that it is incapable of issuing payments to individuals
who can prove they were improperly disqualified. Even when our constituent service teams have
proven that the IRS's rationale was factually invalid, the IRS has stated that the constituent must
wait until 2021 to collect payment. It is an unconscionable violation of your agency's
responsibility to the American people for the IRS to tell struggling Americans that they must
wait another year for this much needed stimulus check.
We request your immediate attention to these issues and call on the IRS to take corrective action
to address the lack of transparency in unresolved EIP cases. Furthermore, we request your
immediate attention to the following questions:
1) What documentation does the IRS use to determine a taxpayer's dependency status?
2) What documentation would the IRS accept to overturn such a determination?
3) What proactive protocols are in place to protect Americans from being fraudulently
claimed as dependents?
4) Why is the IRS claiming payments cannot be processed even when presented with clear
evidence that they improperly disqualified someone from receiving an EIP?
Thank you for your time and attention to this matter; we would like to emphasize the importance
of ensuring that all outstanding EIPs--including those that have been delayed through no fault of
the individual--are delivered to Americans as soon as possible, and no later than December 31,
We request confirmation of your receipt of this letter, as well as your response to our questions,
by November 1, 2020.