The IRS “Get My Payment” tool is a useful resource. It allows tax filers to check the status of their stimulus payment. However, it appears some property managers and landlords are using the online app to check up on their residents.
This is illegal.
Still, Austin Goodrich from Oregon posted this text exchange (right) with his landlord to social media this week. The post went viral, and now the Department of Justice is looking into the matter.
Illegal use of IRS Get My Payment
The IRS “Get My Payment” portal warns against “unauthorized access,” which “is prohibited and subject to criminal and civil penalties, including all penalties applicable to willful unauthorized access (UNAX) or inspection of taxpayer records (under 18 U.S.C. 1030 and 26 U.S.C. 7213A and 26 U.S.C. 7431).”
Using your tenants’ information to check the status of their stimulus check is not “authorized use” and is illegal.
Goodrich, according to the dailydot, has hired a lawyer and “is waiting for the property manager to accept an ‘amicable settlement arrangement.’” The property manager has until April 22, 2020, to respond or face a lawsuit. Goodrich plans to file against the landlord as well.