ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Now that it's clear who will take the Oval Office in January, the matter of another stimulus check remains unclear.
The Senate is back in session, but so far, there have been no agreements. We learned there are still many people in our area waiting for their first check and some say they are desperate and downright angry.
“Just give me an answer, that's all I'm asking,” said Wanda Durns.
It's tough times for Durns, a restaurant owner looking for every penny possible.
“Pay bills, just to pay bills. I am just getting farther and farther behind just like everyone,” she said.
The fountain is still flowing at Meyer's Country Cottage and Irish Pub in Florissant, but the stream of customers just hasn't been the same. That's why Durns says she's desperate for what she's due: the stimulus check many of us got months ago.
“Right now, I don't know what happened to it,” Durns said.
The IRS website, she says, has been no help.
“It always says May 1, every time I check it, it says May 1,” Durns said.
Multiple calls to the IRS, she says, went nowhere. She's filed taxes and gotten her refunds. So where's the stimulus check? Cashed by someone else? Lost in the mail?
“Maybe it just fell off somebody's desk,” Durns joked.
And now, with talks about a second stimulus, she says she’s doubtful.
“I just laugh, I would like to get the first one,” Durns said.
Durns isn't alone. News 4 Investigates has received numerous calls from our viewers, complaining they haven't gotten their stimulus checks. Not in the spring. And still nothing.
“They lie to us and say it’s coming every three or four weeks,” said Sandra Nickens.
Nickens says she had to fight to get her daughter Dorothy’s check. The IRS, she says, couldn't get the address right.
“There are people complaining they don't have a second check, but there are a lot of people who don't have their first check, they shouldn't send out the second check, when not everybody has gotten their first check,” Nickens said.
Earlier this year, News 4 Investigates uncovered issues with people's checks, being deposited into other unknown bank accounts or even dead people getting checks.
But now we wanted to know: how many people in our area were still waiting for their money?
The IRS would only provide numbers from July, saying that in Missouri 3 million people and in Illinois nearly 6 million people, had received checks. But the agency would not say how many people hadn't gotten the funds.
In September, they say they sent letters to tens of thousands of non-filers of tax returns. Recent court rulings have allowed for checks to be sent to prisoners, while advocates have pushed for undocumented people to receive theirs.
But some people say there's been no exact explanation why people like Durns are still waiting.
A spokesperson for the IRS said it's against the law for them to comment about specific taxpayers.
“I think it's bad management, total bad management,” said Durns.
Left in the dark, Durns and others we talked to say the IRS is great at collecting money, they should be better at distributing it.
Sen. Josh Hawley's office sent News 4 the following statement regarding the missed stimulus checks:
“If any Missourians need assistance working with the IRS to receive their Economic Impact Payment, then they should reach out to our office and we will open a case file immediately. We have helped many Missourians navigate the IRS in order to receive their stimulus payment.
“We also continue to believe that Congress needs to do more for working families that have been hurt due to the government shutting down much of our economy.”
Sen. Roy Blunt's office said he encourages Missourians to contact their office when having an issue with a federal agency, such as not receiving stimulus funds. Click here for more information or to fill out the casework request form.
Resources and notes about the IRS:
- Provisions of the Internal Revenue Code (Section 6103) protects taxpayer information from disclosure to other parties and make it against the law for the IRS to comment about specific taxpayers.
- The Get My Payment tool is the best option to check on the status of an EIP.
- Taxpayers can call the IRS telephone assistance line at 800-829-1040.
- On Sept. 17, the IRS issued news release IR-2020-214, IRS releases state-by-state breakdown of nearly 9 million non-filers who will be mailed letters about Economic Impact Payments, that included the number of letters being sent to “hard to reach” people. That release included numbers of letters being sent by state: Illinois - 309,972 and Missouri - 159,077. At the bottom of this e-mail is a list by ZIP Codes in IL and MO.
- Those with additional questions regarding Economic Impact Payments, should visit the Economic Impact Payments Information Center page on IRS.gov.