TCH and six other trade associations submitted a letter to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to offer recommendations to ensure that the third round of Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) are processed quickly and safely and to enhance the overall customer experience for recipients. With disbursement of EIPs expected to continue through October 2021, the recommendations would help improve the program over the next six months. The letter notes that information provided through the IRS’ Get My Payment (GMP) portal, which provides updates to EIP recipients about the status of their payments, is often inaccurate and causes confusion as well as spikes in call center volumes at financial institutions. Individuals expecting to receive an EIP are understandably confused when financial institutions provide information that conflicts with inaccurate information provided by the GMP portal. Recommendations offered in the letter include:
- Updating the GMP database with all due speed to provide accurate, timely information to recipients regarding the status of their EIP payments;
- Reinstating the GMP capability to accept bank routing information from payment and benefit recipients; and
- Stating prominently on the portal landing page that financial institutions do not have access to recipient information and that the information provided on the GMP portal site may be inaccurate due to delays in updating the status of payments.
The letter goes on to note that payments inadvertently made to tax preparer accounts are sometimes being forwarded to the intended recipient’s bank by check or ACH in contravention of rules established by the IRS. As banks are unable to identify these payments as ACH EIPs originated by the IRS, individuals receiving forwarded payments do not receive protections afforded to EIPs from garnishment or offset. TCH and the signers of the letter ask the IRS to reiterate to the industry the importance of following the guidance that is in place and that is for the benefit of EIP recipients.
To read the full comment letter click here.