It's been reported that some American expats have already begun receiving the latest Economic Impact Payments that are being sent out now by the U.S. government, with the aim of helping U.S. citizens at home and abroad to cope with the economic consequences of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic...
As was the case with the first round of payments, though, it's thought some overseas Americans may need to give Uncle Sam a bit of a nudge to ensure that the second payment, of a maximum US$600 (as it currently stands) is either dropped into their bank account or mailed to them.
For this reason, the Democrats Abroad will be holding a free, live Zoom webinar on Wednesday, Jan. 13 at 7pm Central European Time (6pm UK time) to discuss what exactly those who don't receive the second payment should do, to ensure that it arrives.
(To find out what time the webinar will be taking place in your time zone, if you're not in Central Europe or the UK, click here.)
The webinar will feature Nathalie Goldstein, a tax expert who is chief executive of MyExpatTaxes, an expat tax advice firm, who will address the issues surrounding the US$600 Economic Impact Payment, among other topics.
According to a posting on the Democrats Abroad's website, the webinar will cover such issues as how someone might ensure they receive their payment if they've recently moved; is it still possible to apply to receive the first Economic Impact Payment – worth US$1,200 – that went out last year; and how to ensure that the additional US$600 that is technically available "per qualifying child" might be obtained.
Those who aren't able to participate in the live webinar will be able to access it afterwards via a video recording, which will be availble on the Democrats Abroad's YouTube channel (accessed by clicking here).
Call for direct deposit of
payments into non-U.S. accounts
During the months leading up to President Trump's last-minute signing of the bill (late in the evening of Dec. 27) that finally enabled a second round of Economic Impact Payments to begin going out, members of the Democrats Abroad's Taxation Task Force were meeting with key members of Congress in an effort to ensure the distribution of these payments took place more efficiently and ideally, faster.
In particular, the Dems Abroad say they are pushing for expatriate Americans to have the option, as their Homeland counterparts do, of having their stimulus payments made by direct deposit into their local (non-U.S.) bank accounts.
According to a website update posted by Dems Abroad's Taxation Task Force chair Carmelan Polce, four Democratic members of the House of Representatives – Dina Titus, Carolyn Maloney, Jamie Raskin and Don Beyer – had been helping to "push our recommendations to Treasury through the Congressional Liaison to the IRS, and also, via a late December letter to Sec Mnuchin and Commissioner [Charles] Rettig, endorsing our recommendations."
Added Polce: "Although the IRS has said the Get My Payment online tool for providing bank account details to the IRS for the purpose of making Round 2 pandemic stimulus payments will be re-opened in early January, we have received no assurances that the data input screens will have been fully adapted to accommodate the non-U.S. phone numbers, mailing addresses and bank accounts of Americans abroad.
"[However], we will keep pushing."
Polce said she and her Democrats Abroad colleagues had also met with members of the Biden-Harris Treasury Department's transition team, in order to "present the serious personal and financial problems Americans abroad experience due to U.S. taxation".
They are now in the process of putting together a paper on that subject, based on a "short briefing note" they'd prepared for that meeting, to be included in materials that the Biden-Harris transition team will eventually be submitting to Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen and her fellow future-Treasury Department officials and staff.
Among their proposals, Polce said, is that "a communications channel to Treasury and the IRS" be created, that would enable organizations representing Americans abroad to engage directly with what are – for such organizations, and their members – key U.S. government departments.
To sign up for the Democrats Abroad webinar on Jan. 13, click here.
Although the webinar is free to join, the Democrats Abroad says that it hopes those participating will consider making a donation of US$10.
The Democrats Abroad is the official organization of the U.S. Democratic Party, and is comprised of U.S. citizens living permanently or temporarily abroad, whose interests it also seeks to represent in Washington. The organization is given state-level recognition by the Democratic National Committee.
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