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Judge: IRS can't keep coronavirus stimulus money from inmates

Judge: IRS can't keep coronavirus stimulus money from inmates
Posted at 6:27 PM, Oct 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-06 18:45:49-04

A U.S. judge says the IRS can’t keep withholding coronavirus relief payments from incarcerated people, potentially clearing the way for at least 80,000 checks totaling more than $100 million to be sent to people behind bars in the United States.

The ruling gives the IRS until Oct. 24 to reconsider the payments for those who were denied or had their money intercepted solely because of their incarceration. But for incarcerated people who didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019, another deadline is looming — they have until Oct. 15 to apply for the checks.

The IRS and Treasury Department have not yet decided whether to pursue an appeal.

As a reminder, here is who is eligible for a stimulus check:

  • $2,400 – Couples earning less than $150,000 a year (couples earning $150,000 - $198,000 will receive a prorated check).
  • $1,200 – Individuals earning less than $75,000 a year (individuals earning $75,000 - $99,000 will receive a prorated check).
  • $1,200 – Heads of households earning less than $112,500 (heads of households earning $112,500 - $136,000 will receive a prorated check).
  • $500 - Each dependent child age 16 or under as of Dec. 31, 2019 (for qualifying individuals and couples).