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The IRS sent stimulus payments to almost anyone, even some people who perhaps didn’t qualify to get the money.

The government is now saying the payments sent to inmates were a mistake and is trying to recoup the funds, The Associated Press reported.

The payment authorization didn’t exclude those serving time, and the IRS hasn’t said how it has the authority to get the money back. However the IRS website says the Social Security Act does not allow people in prison to get certain payments, the AP reported.

But attorneys say there is no legal way they can ask for the money back, the AP reported.

“I think it’s really disingenuous of the IRS. It’s not a rule just because the IRS puts it on the website. In fact, the IRS actually says that stuff on its website isn’t legal authority. So there’s no actual rule ―it’s just guidance ―and that guidance can change at any time,” tax attorney Kelly Erb told the AP.

Checks of up to $1,200 were automatically sent to people who filed 2018 or 2019 tax returns.

The IRS hasn’t said how many payments went to people in prison, but Kansas Department of Correction officials said they intercepted more than $200,000 worth of checks, while Idaho and Montana officials have stopped more than $90,000.

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