Apr 16, 2020 - Economy & Business

New IRS website allows tracking of coronavirus stimulus payment

Photo via IRS.gov

A new IRS webpage lets users check the status of their coronavirus stimulus payments from the government and allows them to provide their bank account information to get the money via direct deposit.

Why it matters: The government money has started trickling into bank accounts for the 80 million people who received their 2018 or 2019 tax refund by direct deposit, but the new site could speed up the process for some who would otherwise get a check mailed to them over the weeks ahead.

  • Taxpayers must provide their Social Security number, birthday and mailing address to be able to check the status of their payment.
  • To provide their bank information for direct deposit, people need information from their most recent tax return, like their adjusted gross income and refund amount.

Worth noting: The site has notably experienced some glitches, especially for those who filed their taxes via H&R Block and TurboTax, the Washington Post reports.

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Mark Zuckerberg: Social networks should not be "the arbiter of truth"

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg argued on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Thursday that social media platforms should not police political speech, and that "people should be able to see what politicians say.”

Why it matters: Zuckerberg was responding to Twitter's decision this week to fact-check a pair of President Trump's tweets that claimed that mail-in ballots are "substantially fraudulent." Twitter's label, which directs users to "get the facts" about mail-in voting, does not censor Trump's tweets.

House Democrats pull FISA reauthorization bill

Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

House Democrats pulled legislation Thursday that would have renewed expired domestic surveillance laws and strengthened transparency and privacy protections amid broad opposition from President Trump, House GOP leadership and progressive Democrats.

Why it matters: The failure to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) comes as Trump continues to attack the intelligence community, which he claims abused the law to surveil his 2016 campaign and Trump administration officials.

U.S. GDP drop revised lower to 5% in the first quarter

Data: Bureau of Economic Analysis; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy shrunk by an annualized 5% in the first quarter — worse than the initially estimated 4.8% contraction — according to revised figures released by the government on Thursday.

Why it matters: It's the worst quarterly decline since 2008 and shows a huge hit as the economy was just beginning to shut down because of the coronavirus. Economists are bracing for the second quarter's figures to be the worst ever — with some projecting an annualized decline of around 40%.

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