Senators urge IRS to send seniors stimulus checks without tax return requirement

A group of Democratic senators are calling on the IRS to send stimulus checks to seniors without requiring them to file a tax return, according to a report on Wednesday.

Sens. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) are among the 34 lawmakers who are asking the IRS to clarify guidelines that say people who weren’t required to file tax returns for 2018 and 2019 “will need to file a simple tax return to receive an economic impact payment,” under the rescue bill Congress passed last week, NBC News reported.

The IRS included Social Security recipients in that category even though about 64 million Americans received the benefits last year and many aren’t required to file tax returns.

“This filing requirement would place a significant burden on retired seniors and individuals who experience disabilities, especially given the current unavailability of tax filing assistance from Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs during the COVID-19 crisis,” the senators wrote in a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul, obtained by NBC News.

The senators, including Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois said the payments should be automatic and not require seniors to file a tax return.

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