The Mismanagement and Failure of the IRS Getting Much Needed Stimulus Funds to the American People

Weekly Sunday Thoughts: April 27, 2020 11:03 PM EDT

If you ever wanted to see what not to do when it comes to handling an important task, then look no further than the IRS’s recent and embarrassing stimulus check rollout; it will certainly go down in history as one of the most incompetent moments of this organization’s history.  COVID-19 is a deadly virus that has forever changed our planet. Cohut (2020) explains how this deadly virus has impacted us on a global scale at an alarming rate. The fact is that there are now over 2,700,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the globe and vastly growing.  Cohut (2020) also explains how “the largest numbers of confirmed cases are in the United States, Italy, Spain, and France” para. 3); but, the virus is not showing any signs of slowing down any time soon.

The countries hit the hardest to develop an aggressive plan to help with slowing down the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Schwiegershausen (2020) further explores how various states in the United States of America begin to develop a plan in which to help stop the spread of the deadly course of this virus from spreading.  With an increasing number of states ordering residents to stay at home except for essential activities, this unprecedented move was enacted to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. On March 19, California became the first state to do so with New York, and eventually others states following.

Currently, the President of the United States has ordered a national Shelter at home executive order only allowing essential jobs to operate in a limited capacity.   The results have had a great financial burden on the American economy with over 26 million Americans reporting a loss of income due to layoffs with no pay as of April 2020. During this Global Pandemic, millions of Americans are out of work due to an executive order to Stay Shelter at Home by our Commander in Chief. Unfortunately, the funding to help mitigate this situation has exposed the inadequacies of the IRS as they have been unable to get the much-needed stimulus funds to the American People.  Lemon (2020) cited how the U.S. is poised to lose 14 million jobs by the summer even counting the 1 trillion dollars in stimulus check. The true problem in this analysis is that these numbers may be higher due to the incompetence of the IRS Department and its lack of ability to have formulated a successful plan of action for getting the stimulus funds to the American people.

During the 1st round of rolling out stimulus funding to much needed American people, the system was ineffective in doing what it was advertised to do: capture updated address and banking account information as the IRS’ stimulus portal was ridiculed with error messages on the Get My Payment tool; to misrouted funds; and checks being sent to dead people or wrong address which has resulted in the IRS having a tough time getting the coronavirus stimulus money into the hands of those who need it most. The worst part is that the IRS is currently not taking any calls or processing any paper requests; thus, adding more fuel to this madness by the IRS’ mishandling of the process to roll out the funds. And that is a big problem and one the IRS should have foreseen before any funds were deposited erroneously into all of these misrouted accounts.

We can learn from the IRS’s mishandling of the stimulus rollout; planning is critical! The IRS should have developed protocols to make sure that everyone’s information was current by making the portal available to the general public BEFORE the first checks were ever deposited to ensure that stimulus funds were not deposited into old obsolete accounts. Carlisle (2020) explains it best by theorizing that the IRS was being reactive and not proactive! We as business leaders certainly can learn from how to handle a global crisis that will yield positive results. Take the ill example of what not to do from the IRS and learn better managerial skills.

– Isaac Davis, Jr., MBA, HIFE CCP, The Small Business Guru

References

Carlisle, M. (2020, April 22). Common questions about stimulus payment problems, answered. Time Magazine Online. Retrieved from https://time.com/5825368/stimulus-payment-problems/

Cohut, M. (2020, April 24). What is the global impact of the new coronavirus pandemic? Medical News Today. Retrieved April 26, 2020, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/covid-19-global-impact-how-the-coronavirus-is-affecting-the-world

Lemon, J. (2020, March 25). U.S. may lose 14 million jobs by summer even with economic stimulus, new analysis shows. Newsweek Online Publication. Retrieved from https://www.newsweek.com/us-may-lose-14-million-jobs-summer-even-economic-stimulus-new-analysis-shows-1494294

Schwiegershausen, E. (2020, April 22). What does a stay-at-home order mean, exactly? The Cut. Retrieved from https://www.thecut.com/article/what-does-shelter-in-place-mean.html


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