Millions Skip Filing for Stimulus

IRS struggling to keep up
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2008 9:53 AM CDT
U.S Treasurer Anna Escobedo Cabral speaks in this May 8, 2008 file photo. At left is a large copy of a stimulus check.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
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(Newser) – Roughly 5 million people who qualify for a stimulus check could be out of luck because they haven't filed a tax return, CNN reports, and the IRS is scrambling to let them know. These un-stimulated masses consist mostly of seniors and veterans who don’t normally file returns. “I think there are some natural barriers to getting some folks to want to file a return again,” one IRS employee theorized.

The IRS has already sent 20.5 million mailers to non-filers, but only about 15 million responded. A second mailing is currently in the works. Seniors aren’t the only ones confused; in May, the IRS fielded 72 million phone calls, up from 19 million last year. “This hasn’t been the easiest undertaking for the IRS,” the commissioner told Congress yesterday. “The numbers are staggering.”