As Americans across the country await news of another stimulus relief package, some 50,000 others will be receiving a stimulus check in September. On Aug. 25, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced it will begin mailing tens of thousands of stimulus payments that were wrongly withheld as the first round of checks were distributed.
According to the IRS, these "catch-up" economic impact payments will go to those people whose initial payment, which was passed under the CARES Act, was diverted to pay their spouse's past-due child support. The IRS said that stimulus payments were withheld even for people who filed Form 8379 (an Injured Spouse Allocation) with their 2019 or 2018 tax return. Form 8739 lets the IRS know not to withhold money from the "injured spouse" just because of their husband or wife as an outstanding obligation. The IRS became aware of the issue in May, announcing at the time that it was "working with the Bureau of Fiscal Service and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Child Support Enforcement, to resolve this issue as quickly as possible."
The issue has now been resolved, and the IRS is working to correct the issue. The agency will begin issuing the corrected payments in early to mid-September. They will be delivered in the form of a physical check. The IRS said that individuals who didn't file Form 8379 but had their stimulus check reduced for the same reason will also receive a catch-up stimulus check, though the IRS does not yet have a time frame as to when they can expect to receive their payment. Individuals do not need to take any action to receive this payment, though the agency notes that they can use the Get My Payment tool to check the status of their payment.
The distribution of these payments comes as the IRS works to correct a number of errors encountered during the distribution of the first round of stimulus payments. In mid-August, the agency announced that it had officially reopened its registration period for those Americans who did not receive $500 per child payments as part of their stimulus check. Under the CARES Act, dependents under the age of 17 qualified for a $500 payment, though some had missed the brief window during which they could provide the necessary information to receive payment for dependents. Others, meanwhile, did not receive the funds due to an error on the non-filers tool that was not corrected until May 17.