Europeans With No Ties to the U.S. Have Received $1,200 Stimulus Checks

September 12, 2020

    While many Americans have reported delays in receiving their stimulus checks, some Europeans have erroneously received the payments in their bank accounts.

    According to the Washington Post, hundreds of people have cashed the stimulus checks at banks in Austria over the last several months.

    One of the recipients of the U.S. federal relief is a 73-year-old retired Austrian man who first thought it was a scam.

    “We quietly went to the bank … where we were told they’ll see if it’s real,” Manfred Barnreiter told Austrian public broadcaster ORF, reported the outlet. “Three days later, we had the money in our bank account.”

    Both he and his wife received $1200 checks, but neither are U.S. residents or citizens, a requirement to be eligible for the payments.

    While It is unclear how many U.S. payments were collected by ineligible people abroad, reps from three bank branches in Austria disclosed they had cashed approximately 200 stimulus checks.

    The Internal Revenue Service did not respond when the Post reached out for a comment.

    The $1200 stimulus checks were part of the $2 trillion CARES Act, which was authorized back in March.

    Since then, the president, Republicans and Democrats have not been able to agree on a new coronavirus relief package that would include an extension of unemployment benefits and a second round of stimulus checks.

    On Thursday, a “skinny stimulus” package that was being floated by GOP lawmakers failed to advance in the Senate, reported CNN.

    While the new offer brought Democrats and Republicans closer than ever, the prospect of another major stimulus package including direct payments to Americans is still uncertain for the time being.

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