WINDERMERE, Fla. - Many people got a surprise in their stimulus checks, finding out they were handed less than the government said they should expect.
Brooklynn Eason is one of those people. She lives in Gainesville with her two sons. One is five and the other is eight months old. Under the stimulus plan she was entitled to an extra $500 for each child, which she never got.
“I thought it was a lot less than it should be, because I have two kids and it was only $1,200,” Eason said. The amount she got is only the amount allotted for a single adult.
Eason has been furloughed from her office job. She says she's always listed her boys as dependents, and she filed her 2019 returns early enough for the IRS to have a record of her younger son.
“I do my taxes correct every year,” Eason said, “so they definitely had everything that they needed.”
Tax professional Prithi Daswani, a certified public accountant, said the mistake wasn't surprising. She said the IRS, which is handing out the checks, is not being helpful.
“If you're asking me are they making it difficult? It's VERY difficult right now to be working with them,” Daswani said.
Daswani said anyone who didn’t get the right amount should first review their latest tax returns and - if necessary - their tax transcripts, which are available on the IRS website.
“And if everything matches, you know what the amount needs to be,” Daswani said, “at that point, you'll have to sit tight and wait for the IRS to go live again so that you can contact them and find out what's happened.”
Eason said the problem was that she and millions of other people need the money now. “Right now is when we need help. Everyone is struggling, everywhere. Next year it's not gonna matter.”
Daswani says the IRS was giving out stimulus payments through August and it is possible people could be getting a second payment to make up for any loss. They do have a website set up where people can check on their stimulus payments and enter their personal information.