DEAR SUN SPOTS: I want to follow up on stimulus check issues. Talking with my sister-in-law before my letter appeared in Sun Spots, she stated the same thing happened to her and her husband. They received one $600 check in an unsealed envelope. Two days after that, my brother called to tell me he also received $600 in an unsealed envelope. Comical as he is, he said: “What’s the matter? Can’t the IRS afford glue?”

Thank you, for your column! I love it and read it every morning. Keep up the good work.—Claire, no town

ANSWER: When I called the IRS (and was on hold for 35 minutes), I finally spoke to a representative who could only answer “general” questions. She insisted that the best thing people who are receiving these unsealed envelopes could do is report it to their local post office or fill out an online mail fraud form with the post office. Not helpful.

I finally got some assistance from the Lewiston Post Office. It was confirmed that trays of unsealed envelopes from the IRS have indeed come through their system, causing me to believe that my theory about a postal machine at the IRS malfunctioning is correct. The staff at the post office is attempting to catch these and seal them, but some have obviously slipped through.

The post office staffer with whom I spoke assured me each check from the IRS has its own envelope, so if you have received an open envelope with only one $600 check, it does not mean  anyone took the other check out of that envelope.

The post office is handling a massive amount of mail, so please be patient. Go to the irs.gov if you want to check on the status of your stimulus payment.

Again, eligible individuals who do not receive their payment or less than the full amounts of both Economic Impact Payments may claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on their 2020 Form 1040 or 1040-SR. To determine whether you are an eligible individual or the amount of your Recovery Rebate Credit, complete the Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet in the Instructions for Form 1040 and Form 1040-SR.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Where can I get federal and state tax forms in the Lewiston-Auburn area? Thank you for what you do. I love Sun Spots.—Nancy, no town

ANSWER: In “normal” times, you can pick them up at the post office and the library. Call those institutions in your area to see if they are offering them and how you can get your hands on them. Another way is to order the forms via phone at 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676), or print them out from the website IRS.gov. Another web site where you can download and print the forms is https://www.efile.com/tax-forms/.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Thank you to the Lewiston Public Works Department for plowing sidewalks on outer Sabattus and Montello streets. Our daily exercise of walking or jogging is dependent upon sidewalks being accessible. Now that COVID-19 restrictions limit indoor exercise opportunities, it seems that many more residents are choosing outdoor activities. Having a safe walking environment is very important. We appreciate the sidewalk snow removal by the department.—Kathy and Ron, Lewiston

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name. We won’t use it if you ask us not to. Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected].


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