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Lawsuit: Grandma Tracked My IRS Stimulus Payment

Austin Goodrich says he's standing up for abused tenants
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2020 11:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – Austin Goodrich has a serious beef with his landlord—who also happens to be his grandmother. The Oregon man filed a lawsuit Wednesday saying his landlord had illegally accessed information about his stimulus check in order to collect his rent, News Channel 8 Portland reports. The 22-year-old claims his grandma texted him right after he received his stimulus check on April 15: "You got your stimulus, just asking are you going to pay rent or part of rent with any," she writes in a screenshot of the exchange posted on Twitter. "I am trying to close out the books for April." He asks, "How do you know I got my check?" and she answers, "Because I had to check several people today and checked yours also. People were calling me."

The IRS does have a Get My Payment page where users can track stimulus payments by entering their address, birth date, and Social Security number, but the site says "unauthorized use of this system is prohibited and subject to criminal and civil penalties." Goodrich didn't have to pay his rent—Oregon has issued a temporary eviction moratorium—and he hesitated to file suit, but tells the Oregonian he wanted to speak out "on behalf of tenants that suffer abuses" and to "bring attention to the IRS' vulnerabilities." The unemployed security guard says he doesn't associate with his grandmother outside her role as head of TLC Bookkeeping and Tax Prep, which manages the property. "This is an issue between a tenant and property management company," he says. (Read more stimulus funds stories.)

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