11 votes

Social Security recipients who don’t usually file tax returns will automatically get $1,200 payments, Treasury says in reversal

18 comments

  1. [2]
    hungariantoast
    Link
    I have previously posted about the stimulus stuff twice, if anyone wants to check those topics out for additional info: U.S. economic impact payments: What you need to know Many American college...

    I have previously posted about the stimulus stuff twice, if anyone wants to check those topics out for additional info:


    Yeah, I already had a conversation with my grandmother, telling her that she and her husband would not need to file their 2019 taxes, which neither of them have done for years.

    Now, after today's update, I get to call her back and explain that, no, "the IRS changed its mind."

    I also find it particularly annoying how many college students are getting shafted on this because they technically qualify as dependents.

    In my opinion, while still helpful, the requirements for receiving a payment in this bill were far too convoluted. It should have been much simpler to be eligible to receive a payment.

    Are you sixteen or older? Congratulations, here's $1,200.

    Done.

    It would have costed what? A few more billion dollars? It still would be chump-fucking-change compared to the amount of money being handed out to companies and corporations that have suddenly found themselves fucked because, unlike low income workers, they're apparently not expected to have an emergency fund to fall back on?

    This oligarchy is a fucking joke.

    15 votes
    1. AugustusFerdinand
      Link Parent
      Add "Are you under sixteen? Congrats, you parents get $500. Similar experience there for the rest. I've been keeping self employed and small business owning friends and family abreast of the...

      In my opinion, while still helpful, the requirements for receiving a payment in this bill were far too convoluted. It should have been much simpler to be eligible to receive a payment.

      Are you sixteen or older? Congratulations, here's $1,200.

      Add "Are you under sixteen? Congrats, you parents get $500.

      Similar experience there for the rest. I've been keeping self employed and small business owning friends and family abreast of the stimulus and what they need to do. When I saw this article I messaged my aunt, who lives close to my grandmother, to update her so that she can check that my grandmother has or will now file taxes.

      8 votes
  2. [14]
    skybrian
    (edited )
    Link
    Edit: this has been partially reversed: Social Security recipients who don’t usually file tax returns will automatically get $1,200 payments, Treasury says in reversal From the article: [...]

    Edit: this has been partially reversed:
    Social Security recipients who don’t usually file tax returns will automatically get $1,200 payments, Treasury says in reversal

    From the article:

    Many lawmakers and advocates for the poor say filing a tax return shouldn’t be necessary for people on Social Security because the government already knows how to send this population monthly checks. The $2.2 trillion aid legislation, passed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, said that if someone has not filed a 2019 or 2018 tax return, the U.S. Treasury should get their information from Social Security, if applicable.

    But, the Internal Revenue Service posted a notice on its website on Monday instructing Social Security recipients who do not normally send in a return to file a “simple” tax return, which will be available soon.

    [...]

    Most high school seniors and college students won’t get any money. The bill gives nothing to families for their children older than 16, a shock to many households already reeling from canceled graduations, and college students readjusting to life at home with so many universities shut down. Many immigrant families are also learning that they are ineligible. In order for anyone in the family to receive a payment, each person in the household — including children — is supposed to have a valid Social Security number.

    3 votes
    1. [13]
      AugustusFerdinand
      Link Parent
      I'll play a little devil's advocate here (mostly because I enjoy doing so and the debate it garners): People on Social Security that don't have any other forms of income or dependents, and...

      I'll play a little devil's advocate here (mostly because I enjoy doing so and the debate it garners):

      1. People on Social Security that don't have any other forms of income or dependents, and therefore don't file taxes, are incredibly unlikely to have been impacted by COVID shutdowns. They aren't losing hours. They aren't being laid off. Their SS checks are still arriving as they should and they have no increased costs associated with it.

      The bill gives nothing to families for their children older than 16, a shock to many households already reeling from canceled graduations...

      1. Reeling from what? Cost savings of not buying a cap and gown? Cost savings of not throwing a graduation party? (The college students at home is an obvious increase in cost, but I chose to single out how cancelled graduation ceremonies cost money for parents)

      Nick Guerrero of Mesa, Ariz., has learned that he’s one of those who won’t be getting any money because he’s 18 ... Some of his friends have lost their after-school jobs. He planned to get one soon to help save for college, but that is no longer possible.

      1. So he didn't have a job, has never had a job, has no regular expenses of his own, has not been impacted by his own loss of job or hours. Why did he expect to receive an economic impact check to make up for money he doesn't earn?
      2 votes
      1. [2]
        hungariantoast
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Maybe that specific eighteen year old is a bad example, but I personally know dozens of people between the ages of eighteen and twenty-three who have jobs, go to school, and absolutely could use...

        Maybe that specific eighteen year old is a bad example, but I personally know dozens of people between the ages of eighteen and twenty-three who have jobs, go to school, and absolutely could use the money provided by a stimulus payment, but still fall under the qualifications of being a dependent and therefore will receive absolutely nothing (and neither will their parents or whoever else claims them).

        Also, let's take a moment to think about how people between the ages mentioned above have been affected by this recession and the "evaporation" of millions of jobs.

        Double also, let's think about the lasting effects this recession could have on families and the ability of young adults to go to school or find jobs in the coming weeks, months, or years, and how giving them $1,200 dollars might do at least something as far as helping them jump start their lives.

        9 votes
        1. AugustusFerdinand
          Link Parent
          Devil's advocate response: That still doesn't justify him expecting a check and while there are teenagers that have jobs, they are not the norm. Personal response: I completely agree, as I once...

          Devil's advocate response: That still doesn't justify him expecting a check and while there are teenagers that have jobs, they are not the norm.

          Personal response: I completely agree, as I once was one of those people being that I had my first actual job (as in not mowing lawns, having a work schedule, boss, etc) at the age of 13 and have cumulatively been unemployed for less than 18 months since that first job. I don't personally believe there should have been means testing on the payment at all.

          3 votes
      2. [10]
        skybrian
        Link Parent
        That depends on how you think about opportunity cost, which can be tricky. Suppose someone didn't have a job but had an offer with a specific salary, and then the job evaporated. They are now...

        That depends on how you think about opportunity cost, which can be tricky.

        Suppose someone didn't have a job but had an offer with a specific salary, and then the job evaporated. They are now unemployed. Compare with someone who was working for five years, has the same salary, and lost their job. Also unemployed, right? Their losses are quantifiable, and you can even set up the example so they're the same.

        You might say that one job is more "real" than the other. For someone who was looking for work, and was well qualified and fully expected to get a job, they might be in the same position, but the cost is hazier.

        In every case we are talking about expectations about future income being violated. The income you were hoping for is not real, that was on a different timeline.

        The thing is, our financial system is mostly built on expectations. A violation of expectations happened at massive scale and that has huge effects.

        4 votes
        1. [9]
          AugustusFerdinand
          Link Parent
          DA: You are correct in that our financial system is built on expectations, but those expectations are based on past experiences. That is why the individual that made $100k last year, filed their...

          DA: You are correct in that our financial system is built on expectations, but those expectations are based on past experiences. That is why the individual that made $100k last year, filed their taxes, and then was laid off because of this is not getting a check. The expectation is that their situation continued. Same with the individual that was never employed, a lack of past experience indicating an income is expected to continue and thus ineligible for the economic impact check.

          3 votes
          1. [8]
            skybrian
            Link Parent
            Suppose they are a college senior, majoring in computer science, with good grades and good interviewing skills? What would you predict based on previous experience? Predicting that tomorrow will...

            Suppose they are a college senior, majoring in computer science, with good grades and good interviewing skills? What would you predict based on previous experience?

            Predicting that tomorrow will be the same as today is a good default algorithm for forecasting. It can work surprisingly well for predicting the weather, for example. It's a good benchmark and you should compare more sophisticated strategies to it. But it's still a method of forecasting and can be wrong.

            There is also a question of how much you want to base the future on the past. If your goal is to avoid perpetuating inequality then we shouldn't look at the past and treat each day as a fresh start. This would be an argument for sending equal checks to everyone.

            3 votes
            1. [7]
              AugustusFerdinand
              Link Parent
              DA The same as if they were a college dropout in the same position; how much money have they made recently. Good interview skills aren't quantifiable and opinion has no place in government, only...

              DA

              Suppose they are a college senior, majoring in computer science, with good grades and good interviewing skills? What would you predict based on previous experience?

              The same as if they were a college dropout in the same position; how much money have they made recently. Good interview skills aren't quantifiable and opinion has no place in government, only fact. Facts are that only about a quarter of people actually work in their major so there's no guarantee that he'll work a high paying, or any, job in that field. Are there other, better models to use? Absolutely. Are they strategies that are complete insomuch as they can be applied to the absolute greatest number of individuals in the shortest amount of time in order to get the payments out as soon as possible? A resounding no.

              There is also a question of how much you want to base the future on the past. If your goal is to avoid perpetuating inequality then we shouldn't look at the past and treat each day as a fresh start. This would be an argument for sending equal checks to everyone.

              The goal of the checks is not to avoid perpetuating inequality, that's not even on the table. The goal is to provide economic relief to those most likely to have been impacted. That being people that have worked in the past two years, are not dependents, and made less than $100k.

              1. [6]
                skybrian
                Link Parent
                Giving everyone the same amount is easier than using their previous income. If you're worried about giving money to people who don't need it, raising taxes slightly for 2020 income would be based...

                Are they strategies that are complete insomuch as they can be applied to the absolute greatest number of individuals in the shortest amount of time in order to get the payments out as soon as possible?

                Giving everyone the same amount is easier than using their previous income. If you're worried about giving money to people who don't need it, raising taxes slightly for 2020 income would be based on facts that are more relevant than any previous year's income. (This effectively means that for high income people, the stimulus check will be a loan.)

                That's not even on the table

                And I don't see why not.

                1 vote
                1. [5]
                  AugustusFerdinand
                  Link Parent
                  DA Which was covered in my second point. That the goal is to provide for those most likely to have been impacted. It's a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. Don't give it to...

                  DA

                  Giving everyone the same amount is easier than using their previous income. If you're worried about giving money to people who don't need it, raising taxes slightly for 2020 income would be based on facts that are more relevant than any previous year's income. (This effectively means that for high income people, the stimulus check will be a loan.)

                  Which was covered in my second point. That the goal is to provide for those most likely to have been impacted. It's a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. Don't give it to absolutely everyone and you're criticized for means testing. Give it to everyone and you'll be criticized for giving rich people more money they don't need.

                  And I don't see why not.

                  If you can't see why a desperate economic stimulus in light of a pandemic impact not seen in modern times isn't focused on ending inequality across the board, as if it was even possible to address such in current political climate, then I'm not sure there's much I can say that would convince you otherwise.

                  1. [4]
                    skybrian
                    Link Parent
                    It's important to achieve the goal of helping people in need. It's not important to ensure that they are in need due to the pandemic, and it slows things down. There are always poor people who...

                    It's important to achieve the goal of helping people in need. It's not important to ensure that they are in need due to the pandemic, and it slows things down. There are always poor people who desperately need stuff regardless of the pandemic. Helping them as well is a good side effect.

                    And again, means-testing can be done by adjusting 2020 income taxes. It's not urgent to means-test right away, as the money can be taken back later, using a less rushed and fairer process.

                    1 vote
                    1. [3]
                      AugustusFerdinand
                      Link Parent
                      DA Again, which isn't the purpose of the act that passed. I cooked dinner for my family today, but I could have also cooked dinner for the entire neighborhood. Yet the act of me cooking dinner...

                      DA

                      Again, which isn't the purpose of the act that passed. I cooked dinner for my family today, but I could have also cooked dinner for the entire neighborhood. Yet the act of me cooking dinner wasn't for the purpose of feeding the neighborhood.

                      So do more work on the back end to determine who didn't need it and take it back instead of just using past data to determine who was most likely to not need it at all? So if someone made over $100k in 2020 and they take the stimulus back in taxes in 2021, but subsequently had delayed economic impact and in 2021 are jobless, they are charged extra taxes for something that no longer applies to them and is still using data from the past. How is this a fairer process? Seems like it's just kicking the can down the road for the same result.

                      1. [2]
                        skybrian
                        Link Parent
                        We could get into how to reform income tax. But I think I'm tired of this game. Well-played!

                        We could get into how to reform income tax. But I think I'm tired of this game. Well-played!

                        1 vote
                        1. AugustusFerdinand
                          Link Parent
                          And to you! Have a good one and stay safe.

                          And to you!

                          Have a good one and stay safe.

                          1 vote
  3. [2]
    skybrian
    Link
    Can someone fix the title? The Washington Post changed the headline of the story. @deimos

    Can someone fix the title? The Washington Post changed the headline of the story. @deimos

    1 vote