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Kokua Line: Being locked up doesn’t disqualify someone from receiving stimulus payment, IRS says

Question: My grandson signed up for the stimulus knowing that he would be going to jail, and now he is in jail and the money came through. Is that going to be a problem?

Answer: No, not solely because he is incarcerated. After controversy during the first round of stimulus payments — the Internal Revenue Service initially issued Economic Impact Payments to inmates, then stopped, then lost a federal lawsuit and was forced to resume distribution — the agency has issued clear information for the second round, saying:

“Individuals will not be denied an Economic Impact Payment solely because they are incarcerated. An incarcerated individual may be issued a payment if all eligibility requirements are met and the individual filed a 2019 tax return that was processed by the IRS or used the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool prior to Nov. 22, 2020. Eligible incarcerated individuals may claim a 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit on line 30 of their 2020 tax return. Please refer to the instructions for the 2020 Form 1040 for more information.”

By “signed up” for the payment, we presume that your grandson filled out the nonfilers form on the IRS website before the deadline.

Q: I have tried to use the Get My Payment website, but it never works for me.

A: If you are sure you are inputting your Social Security number, age, street address and ZIP code directly, it could be that the IRS online tool is overloaded or that you tried to use it too many times in a single day.

Some people trying to use the Get My Payment link on the IRS website (www.irs.gov) “may get a ‘please wait’ or error message due to the high volumes coming in. The ‘please wait’ message is a normal part of the site’s operation. We encourage people to check back later. Also, there is a limit to the number of times people can access Get My Payment each day. When people reach the maximum number of accesses, Get My Payment will inform them they will need to check back the following day,” the IRS says in its FAQs.

Q: Get My Payment says a check was mailed, but I haven’t received it. Is there anything I can do?

A: No, not at this point. It’s too early to try to follow up. The IRS says it could take up to four weeks from the mailing date for people to receive checks or debit cards. The date shown for your payment on the Get My Payment app is the date the payment was issued, not the date you were supposed to receive it. Although direct deposits are generally speedy, mailed payments take much longer to arrive.

Q: Where can I get Hawaii income tax forms?

A: You can download them from the state Department of Taxation website, at tax.hawaii.gov/forms.

One note: How to calculate a deduction for mortgage interest premiums was mistakenly left off the 2020 Form N-11 instructions and worksheets. See Tax Announcement 2021-01 (808ne.ws/mort) at tax.hawaii.gov for these instructions if you need them.

Q: What is the new expiration date for driver’s licenses?

A: Licenses that have expired or will expire from March 2020 to Feb. 14, 2021, are considered valid through Feb. 14, under the governor’s emergency proclamation.


I want to say a big mahalo to a Marine at the airport last Thursday afternoon. My wife and I were returning from a six-week trip and had four suitcases. I had gone to get the car, and when I got to the curb, my wife started trying to bring the bags over. Suddenly, a young man stepped in to help get the bags to the car and even help me load them into the vehicle. He appeared to be military and I asked which branch. He said Marines. So from an old Marine to a young Marine, mahalo and Semper Fi. — R. Zegar

Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email kokualine@staradvertiser.com.

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