Coronavirus relief stimulus payments were sent to people behind bars, and now the IRS is asking state officials to help get that cash back.

Syracuse.com reports that the IRS is saying that those checks were mistakenly sent.

The legislation authorizing the payments during the pandemic doesn’t specifically exclude jail or prison inmates, and the IRS has refused to say exactly what legal authority it has to retrieve the money. On its website, it points to the unrelated Social Security Act, which bars incarcerated people from receiving some types of old-age and survivor insurance benefit payments."

Tax attorney Kelly Erb, who's written about the issue on her website, says there's no legal basis for asking for the checks back. The IRS doesn’t yet have numbers on how many payments went to prisoners.

Time reports the legislation authorizing the payments during the pandemic didn't specifically exclude jail or prison inmates, and the IRS has refused to say exactly what legal authority it has to retrieve the money.

The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision is responsible for the care, confinement, and rehabilitation of approximately 54,700 inmates at 52 correctional facilities owned and operated by the State of New York. There is no word on how many prisons in New York received these checks.

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