Apr 2, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Mnuchin: Social Security recipients will automatically get stimulus checks

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks to the press outside of the West Wing of the White House

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Social Security recipients who typically don't file tax returns will automatically receive their coronavirus stimulus payment, the Treasury Department said on Wednesday, reversing its original statement.

Why it matters: The Internal Revenue Service issued guidance Monday that Americans "who typically do not file a tax return will need to file a simple tax return" to access the funds, prompting criticism from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers.

Driving the news: Lawmakers including Sens. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) expressed concern in a letter to the IRS and Treasury earlier Wednesday that such a move would "place a significant burden on retired seniors and individuals who experience disabilities."

  • Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) tweeted Wednesday it was "ridiculous" the IRS issued guidance saying seniors had to file taxes.

In a reversal, the Treasury Department announced Wednesday:

"Social Security recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return do not need to take an action, and will receive their payment directly to their bank account."

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