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An IRS spokesperson told PolitiFact that a legitimate government check will never have the IRS as the payer, the way the check shown in the Facebook post does.
A Facebook video shows the perspective of a man trying to help a person sleeping in a tent at a Walmart. The helper takes the person to a hotel and, soon after, presents him with a check from a new program that provides monthly financial help.
"The government is paying you $2,000 every single month," the man says in the post shared from Nov. 15. "It’s a new program, any American who needs $2,000 a month can get it now."
The Facebook post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
A close-up of the footage of the $2,000 check shows an Internal Revenue Service logo and some text: "Under the New Deal Program, the current Administration has issued you incentives for the following total amount. Total Health Allowance Incentive: $2000 Monthly Credits."
There are several reasons to doubt the video’s accuracy.
"One huge red flag to watch out for is that checks that go out to the taxpayers never show the IRS as the payer," IRS spokesperson Octavio O. Saenz told PolitiFact. "All checks generated due to tax credits/refunds show the U.S. Treasury Department as the payer."
The Facebook post provides a link to a Health Insurance Marketplace subsidy calculator run by Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. It helps people estimate whether they are eligible for tax credits to offset the cost of health insurance.
The Facebook post mentioned a "health allowance incentive," but there is no record of Congress and the Biden administration creating such a program.
A "premium tax credit" to help people who are at or below the federal poverty line purchase insurance in the federal health marketplace, but this has been available since 2014. To receive this credit, people must be U.S. citizens or lawfully present in the U.S. They also cannot have other types of health insurance such as Medicare or Medicaid.
The amount of the premium tax credit varies based on the person’s income, and it’s supposed to be used to pay for health insurance in advance (by the government sending the money to the insurance company directly). The credit can also be received at the end of the year when a beneficiary files taxes, but that means that beneficiary has already paid the monthly cost of the insurance during the year, according to an IRS fact sheet.
We rate the claim that a new government program will pay Americans $2,000 a month False.
IRS, Questions and Answers on the Premium Tax Credit, February 2022
CBPP, Premium Tax Credits: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions, July 2013.
Facebook post, Nov. 15, 2023
PolitiFact, This online offer of a $5,000 stimulus loan is too good to be true because it’s not, Jan. 6, 2023
PolitiFact, No sign of more federal stimulus checks, Jan 3. 2022
Congress gov, H.R.6496 - Emergency Money for the People Act, accessed Nov. 20, 2023
Email interview with IRS spokesperson Octavio O. Saenz, Nov. 20, 2023
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