Taxing Stimulus Checks

Kirk Dye, Reporter

As Americans begin to file their taxes this year, there seems to be controversy over whether the stimulus checks from the discordant federal government are being taxed or not. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) claims that the stimulus checks would be tax-free, but some Americans are already seeing that this statement may not be true.

Residents across several states such as Oregon, Arkansas, Wisconsin, and more are experiencing a change in their taxes from what was expected. They seem to have to pay in for the stimulus checks they received during the COVID-19 outbreak. The confusion stems from not knowing exactly how these checks would affect one’s taxes. Since the IRS advertised them “tax-free”, recipients are now pondering whether or not the checks are being taxed on the state level in some places, and not federally. There have been numerous examples of this happening so this seems to be a leading culprit. If the tax is occurring from the state, local citizens are wondering why this information wasn’t communicated more clearly. Another theory is that the stimulus checks could have put them into an entirely different tax bracket. The answers to these questions are extremely difficult to find due to leaders and organizations keeping things quiet and under wraps.

Laura Smith, a resident from Madison, Wisconsin has been one of the many people puzzled by the unexpected change in her taxes. She believes that the stimulus checks may be affecting how her taxes are shaping up this year. “For the first time ever I’ve had to pay in for my taxes and the stimulus checks seem to be the only culprit.” Smith says she is fine with paying the money she owes, she just wished that the government and IRS would have been more clear on how everything would play out. “I’m sure I’m not the only one who is so baffled by all of this.” 

Patrick Swann, a resident from Waunakee, Wisconsin is one of the many other people who aren’t having any issues with their stimulus checks and taxes. “I didn’t see any change from what I expected,” he states. Swann has received multiple rounds of the stimulus checks and used the money to support his local businesses. “I heard they would be free of tax so I used them for what they were intended for.”

The contradiction between stories is what is causing mass confusion within the American taxpayers this season. It begs the question, is the government or IRS holding something back from the people? Is there something they aren’t telling us? The answer could be as simple as a tax error from the individuals, or it could be something much larger and more important that we are not being told.