A California judge determined that the agency acted in violation of the CARES law by withholding about 80,000 payments
Inmates at the Central Jail in Los Angeles.
JEFF GRACE / The Opinion
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will have to disburse about $ 100 million for stimulus checks to people incarcerated as a result of the ruling issued by the judge for the Northern District of California, Phyllis Hamilton.
The order issued on September 24 states that neither the IRS nor the Treasury Department they have the power by law to withhold payments to this group based on the incarceration of potential beneficiaries.
The Forbes report this week indicates that in the preliminary order imposed by Hamilton the plaintiffs “are likely to be successful on the merits” of their claim and that “statute (CARES law) mandates the distribution of advance reimbursement to eligible individuals.” .
The judge further determined that “incarcerated persons who otherwise qualify for advance reimbursement” are not excluded as “eligible individuals” and that “the IRS’s decision to exclude incarcerated persons from prepaid reimbursement payments is likely to be contrary to the law ”.
According to the decision, there is no provision in the CARES law – under which the stimulus checks were approved – stating that this group should be denied funds.
Although the IRS made the administrative decision not to process payments to these individuals, no part of the CARES Act authorized them to do so.
The IRS has not reacted to the court decision.
“The Treasury Department theft of the CARES Act supplements that Congress was trying to provide to people in need right away is not only illegal, but cruel to the individuals and families most affected by COVID-19 and excessive incarceration – Blacks, Latinx and native low-income people, ”Mona Tawatao, an Equal Justice Society attorney representing the plaintiffs, said in a statement. “The court order is going to bring them critical relief and some measures of justice.”
At least 80,000 incarcerated people are eligible to receive the payment, according to the entity’s calculations.
The court order provides that the disbursement of withheld funds must be made in accordance with information from the 2018 and 2019 tax returns of those affected or by collecting data through the online tool. Non-filers.