Tester Pushes Treasury to Provide Flexible Filing Deadline for Non-Filers with Dependents

U.S. Senator Jon Tester sent a bipartisan letter and released the following statement today following news that the Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will require social security, railroad retirement, and veterans benefit recipients—who have dependents and did not file a 2018 or 2019 tax return—to file additional information by Wednesday, April 22, 2020 in order to receive $500 per child in addition to their automatic $1,200 Economic Impact Payments.

“This is far too short of a time frame to notify thousands of folks who do not typically file a tax return with the IRS—including a larger number of veterans—that they are required to file additional information to obtain financial relief if they have a dependent,” said Tester. “Forcing social security and other federal benefit recipients to file at the eleventh hour places an unnecessary burden on families during this trying time. I strongly urge the Treasury to provide flexibility for these eligible individuals, giving Americans the economic security they need.”

In a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin today, Tester joined his Republican counterpart on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee in urging the Department to modify the filing deadline, and implement a solution to prevent social security and federal benefit recipients from filing additional government forms during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the IRS will automatically send payments to eligible taxpayers who filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return. The CARES Act specifically sought to ensure recipients of payments through federal programs, who typically do not file tax returns, would easily get their Economic Impact Payment through direct deposit.

Last Friday, the IRS and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced an automatic payment would be forthcoming for certain VA beneficiaries following a bipartisan push by Tester. He is continuing push the Administration to provide veterans with their promised payments in a timely manner, and without additional bureaucratic hurdles.

Read Tester’s letter to Secretary Mnuchin HERE.