IRS Begins to Take Telephone Questions About Stimulus Payments
(Bloomberg) -- The Internal Revenue Service will begin to take telephone calls with questions about stimulus payments, but recipients could still expect long waits and may be unable to get answers to complicated inquiries.
About 3,500 IRS workers started answering phone lines on Monday. The agency had shut down most call centers and sent employees home in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Callers will listen to a recorded message and then have the option to speak to a representative.
“IRS telephone assistance and other services will remain limited, and answers for most of the common questions related to Economic Impact Payments are available on IRS.gov,” the agency said in a press release Monday. “The IRS anticipates bringing back additional assistors as state and local advisories permit.”
The release did not say if taxpayers would be able to get information about matters other than the stimulus.
The ability to call the IRS will likely be a relief to many recipients who have reported problems with the money going to the wrong accounts, not receiving funds for their dependents or getting payments made out to deceased relatives.
The IRS also said it will begin sending about 4 million payments by prepaid debit card, instead of by paper check, this week. Recipients can make purchases, withdraw cash from certain ATMs and transfer funds to their bank accounts from the cards without incurring any fees.
The agency began sending the $1,200 payments to millions of Americans last month. The agency says it has distributed about 140 million of the 150 million payments it plans to send.
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