A gift from Uncle Sam – but former Waterford students have to give it back
First the good news: some former students in Waterford have received an unexpected cash boost from the US revenue department.
Now the bad: tax experts say they should give the money back.
The cash comes from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security scheme, a stimulus package which aims to support workers in the US, earning less than $75,000 per year, with a one-time payment of $1,200.
Many Irish visa holders who spent time in the US in 2018 or 2019 filed tax returns and did not close down their American bank accounts. The money, intended for US residents only, has been paid into those accounts.
But south east-based consultants, Taxback.com, have warned that holding onto the money could have ramifications for those looking to travel to the US in the future.
“People are finding funds in their US bank accounts and are questioning why they are there,” said Laura Mc Hugh of Taxback. “Anyone who finds themselves in this situation should act to rectify it in two ways – firstly, by sending an email to the IRS to flag receipt of the payment and by refunding the money to the IRS. Secondly these people should also amend their previous tax return to a ‘nonresident’ return.”
Taxback.com says there will be no consequences for anyone who takes corrective action now.