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Aug. 6, 2020, 12:58 p.m. EDT

When will I receive my FIRST stimulus check? ‘We, the qualifying taxpayers, should not have to suffer’

‘I was the supervisor of the department that processed and reconciled parking citations. Since mid-March, the number of parking citations drastically fell due to the coronavirus pandemic’

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By Quentin Fottrell, MarketWatch

The Moneyist answers dilemmas in an age of coronavirus.

Dear Moneyist,

I feel I was unfairly denied the stimulus payment. In 2019, I made a total of $51,331. My filing status was “single, no children.” I was denied the stimulus payment on 4/10/20 because the IRS based my income on my 2018 taxes.

I was permanently laid off from my job as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic. I was the supervisor of the department that processed and reconciled parking citations written by my city.

Since mid-March, the number of parking citations drastically fell due to the coronavirus pandemic, and this caused a major reduction of revenue in my department which resulted in me losing my job.

I do not understand why they cannot send out the stimulus checks for the people that do qualify, according to their 2019 taxes. Why didn’t they put the checks on hold until the 2019 taxes were received if the 2018 taxes did not qualify, instead of flat out denying people who truly do qualify?

The Moneyist: I told my unemployed tenant about jobs. He said they don’t pay enough, and sits at home smoking weed. Now he wants a discount. What do I do?

This timing game is preventing people who qualify from receiving the assistance that is desperately needed. I understand there was no time to iron everything out before the checks were dispersed. But why not fix this loophole, and send the checks that truly qualify from their recent 2019 taxes?

I was told by the IRS they cannot go back on their original decision. It is obvious that this decision was rushed, and not thought through. We, the qualifying taxpayers, should not have to suffer due to this loophole.

I am not a high income earner. My 2018 income was inflated due to a 401(k) disbursement that I had to take to save my house due to a scheduled layoff in 2018.

I really wish someone could help. The $1,200 is desperately needed.

A Very Disappointed Unemployed Taxpayer

Dear Disappointed,

I’m very sorry you were laid off.

The pandemic has affected so many parts of the economy. Parking-ticket revenue was one area that did not occur to me. I understand you are frustrated, and it does feel unfair. However, I do hope that the weekly $600 in extra unemployment benefits went some way in making these last few months easier to manage. It’s more for some people than others, I know, but the $2.2 trillion CARES Act has gone some way in easing that burden for millions of Americans in a situation similar to your own.

The Moneyist: I filed a joint tax return with my estranged wife because she is a gambler and her finances are a mess. But I got NO stimulus check — what can I do?

<STRONG /> Had the Internal Revenue Service delayed the stimulus-check program for you, and others like you, it would have also delayed it for millions of other Americans. It did not work with the precision of a Swiss watch, but the staff at the IRS were working hard to send as many checks to people as soon as they humanly could — with the challenges of computer networks that were not set up for such a public-health and financial emergency.

Fourteen percent of households making under $50,000 have yet to receive their stimulus payment , according to a survey Prosperity Now, a research and policy organization, conducted between June and July. That’s one of the ways the pandemic is squeezing poor families who are skipping bills and skimping on groceries, the organization said. By early June, IRS still needed to pay out between 30 and 35 million checks. That included 13 million to 18 million people.

The Moneyist: I didn’t get my stimulus check because I owe back child support. It’s not fair. My stepchildren rely on me — what can I do?

The good news: Your $1,200 stimulus check will arrive with your 2020 tax refund. Lawmakers are still wrestling over the details of the next stimulus package. “It’s clear no Phase Four deal will be made until the week of August 3rd, which remains our base case,” said analysts at Beacon Policy Advisors in a note Thursday. “But given the current lack of unity among Republicans, which could slow down the pace of the negotiations with Democrats, a final deal could even slip a few days further into the week of Aug. 10.”

The bad news: It will be based on 2019 tax returns, too.

Coronavirus update:

<STRONG /> <STRONG /> As of Thursday, COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, had infected at least 18.8 million people globally and 4.8 million in the U.S. It had killed over 707,905 people worldwide and at least 158,256 in the U.S. New York has the most fatalities (32,754) followed by New Jersey (15,842). The stock market has been on a wild ride in recent months. The Dow Jones Industrial Index /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.68% , the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.64%  and Nasdaq Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +1.00% closed higher Wednesday, as investors awaited round two of a fiscal stimulus.

/zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime
US : Dow Jones Global
27,386.98
+185.46 +0.68%
Volume: 323.72M
Aug. 6, 2020 5:08p
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US : S&P US
3,349.16
+21.39 +0.64%
Volume: 2.41B
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US : U.S.: Nasdaq
11,108.07
+109.67 +1.00%
Volume: 3.75M
Aug. 6, 2020 5:16p
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Quentin Fottrell is MarketWatch's personal-finance editor and The Moneyist columnist for MarketWatch. You can follow him on Twitter @quantanamo.

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