Today, Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) announced that the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) is creating a hotline for those seeking answers on economic impact payments (EIPs) while noting the continuing need for solutions for Iowans without internet access.
Last month, Rep. Axne wrote to the IRS to demand a phone line and other solutions for Iowa seniors and others who are unable to access the IRS’ online portal because of lack of internet access.
“I’m glad that the IRS has recognized that many Iowans and other rural communities across this country have been unable to get answers about their payments due to lack of internet access,” said Rep. Axne. “This hotline is an important first step to helping ensure our seniors get these direct payments, but there is much more that the IRS and Treasury Department can do to help Iowans who have still not received their payments.”
The IRS hotline, available at 800-919-9835, has automated messages available to answer frequently asked questions about EIPs, and is adding 3,500 representatives to provide additional assistance for callers.
Rep. Axne expressed frustration that the hotline does not provide callers the ability to input bank information, and that the deadline for inputting direct deposit information on the IRS’ online portal closed on May 13th.
“The IRS and Treasury Department still need to do more. They need to reopen the direct deposit submission window for those who may have lacked access to the portal the first time, and they need to create a fully equivalent service for those who still cannot input their bank information using the online dashboard,” said Rep. Axne.
Rep. Axne’s letter to the IRS cited the Federal Communications Commission’s estimate that more than 20 million Americans lack access to high-speed internet – including many who have called Rep. Axne’s office to seek assistance with accessing the portal – as the reason the IRS needs to add a non-digital alternative for the portal.