Thousands of foreign workers who incorrectly filed U.S. tax returns are now receiving Wuhan coronavirus stimulus checks, according to a new report. The workers, many now living overseas, are college-age workers who took a job in the U.S. during the past two years.
According to Politico, the "glitch" stems from improperly filed tax returns belonging to foreign workers. The workers use popular tax filing software programs, like Turbo Tax, designed for use by U.S. residents. The improper filings also allowed foreign workers, mistaken for residents, to claim the $12,200 standard deduction. Some foreign workers intentionally file the wrong forms in order to take advantage of the deduction. Having cheated taxpayers once, these foreign workers are now receiving stimulus checks.
Recipients of the errant deposits told Politico they are holding the money while awaiting guidance from the IRS, or, in some cases, quickly spending the money before the IRS catches the mistake. Meanwhile, millions of U.S. citizens are still waiting for their stimulus checks to arrive.
The foreign workers interviewed by Politico included a student from China who attended school at the University of Rochester before taking a finance job in the U.S. Another student from New Zealand is currently studying in Pennsylvania and claims she was incorrectly told by her bank that she could spend the money. Many of the students said they tried contacting the IRS for guidance but couldn't get through.
The stimulus payments were part of the $2 trillion economic relief package signed into law in April. The payments were earmarked for U.S. citizens only.
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