A US Treasury check laying on a laptop keyboard
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Rumor Control: Is the IRS Sending Out More Stimulus Checks?

If you haven’t memory-holed everything that happened in 2020 and 2021, you might recall that the IRS sent a couple of stimulus checks out to Americans to help alleviate financial stress at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rumor has it the IRS is about to cut everyone another fat check.

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In April 2020, the IRS and the U.S. Treasury sent the first round of stimulus checks intended to ease financial burdens associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals received up to $1200 and an additional check for up to $500 for each child. At the end of December, another round of checks went out, with individuals receiving up to $600. A third and final round of stimmies went out in March 2021, with individuals receiving up to $1400. These relatively small payments were intended to make it easier to deal with rising costs due to inflation, as corporations capitalized on the pandemic to drive up prices. Several corporations, including Amazon, Microsoft, and delivery providers like UPS and FedEx, have continued to post massive profits while laying off scores of employees and refusing to increase wages.

According to a wild new rumor, the IRS is getting ready to send out another, much more substantial stimulus check—this time for $8700.

Is there any truth to it? Do you really need to ask? Of course it’s not true. Where do you think we live? A “good place”? A country that provides for its people in need? The federal minimum wage hasn’t increased since 2009. That’s 15 years, if you struggle with math—which a lot of people do in the U.S., where public schools are underfunded and understaffed and teachers are egregiously underpaid.

The new stimulus check rumor seems to have originated at RLPS.org, a website that “was started in 2005 as an employment, exams, and finance news portal that aimed to fulfil [sic] your desire to read the latest careers and finance updates,” according to an About Us page that doesn’t seem suspicious at all.

The article about the $8700 stimulus checks is just one of several bogus articles about stimulus checks published by the site in recent months. Behold the impressive literacy of these paragraphs, which were definitely written by a real person named Haley Jena and not generated by AI:

The official authorities of Internal Revenue Services have pinned a tweet advising Americans to stay while filing their tax return. They mentioned in their tweet that many different types of social media accounts are running, which include misleading tax advice that can put you at risk.

Now, it is more difficult to stay intelligent and avoid falling into a trap, as there are endless scams and a constant flow of fake news related to stimulus checks running on social media accounts. 

Someone give Haley Jena a Pulitzer for excellence in investigative journalism. She earned it.

To recap: A content farm that makes up rumors about stimulus checks spread another rumor about a stimulus check, which is how you ended up at this article, trying to figure out if you’re getting an $8700 stimmy from a government that spends billions-with-a-B dollars every year funding military operations in other countries while refusing to ensure you receive a livable wage. You have my sympathies.

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Britt Hayes
Britt Hayes (she/her) is an editor, writer, and recovering film critic with over a decade of experience. She has written for The A.V. Club, Birth.Movies.Death, and The Austin Chronicle, and is the former associate editor for ScreenCrush. Britt's work has also been published in Fangoria, TV Guide, and SXSWorld Magazine. She loves film, horror, exhaustively analyzing a theme, and casually dissociating. Her brain is a cursed tomb of pop culture knowledge.