Two senior IRS officials said that the information technology team was working quickly to implement the last-minute programming changes, and could lead to a delay in the release of the first paper checks.
For the first time ever, a president’s name will appear on a check disbursed by the Internal Revenue Service.
According to sources cited by the Washington Post, the Treasury Department finalized a decision late Monday to add President Trump’s name to the paper stimulus checks being sent to millions of Americans affected by the coronavirus crisis. “President Donald J. Trump” will appear on the left side in the memo section beneath a line reading “Economic Impact Payment.”
Critics have raised concern that the unprecedented decision to brand the much-needed $1,200 stimulus checks with the president’s name will delay their arrival. Two senior IRS officials said that the information technology team was working quickly to implement those last-minute programming changes.
Chad Hooper, the president of the IRS’s Professional Managers Association, told Newsweek that “reprogramming historically has led to delays.”
A Treasury Department spokesperson, however, told the Washington Post the department had planned to issue the checks next week all along.
“Economic Impact Payment checks are scheduled to go out on time and exactly as planned—there is absolutely no delay whatsoever,” the representative said in a written statement. “In fact, we expect the first checks to be in the mail early next week which is well in advance of when the first checks went out in 2008 and well in advance of initial estimates,” the statement said.
Hooper called the move “an abuse of government resources.”
“In this time of need for additional resources,” Hooper told the Washington Post, “anything that takes our focus from getting those checks out the door and hampers the equitable, fair administration of the tax code is not something we can support.”
More than one in 10 workers have lost their jobs in just the past several weeks to the coronavirus outbreak. The IRS has announced plans to release an online tool this week that will help Americans track the status of their stimulus payments, and payments are expected to start going out today.