Stimulus checks may be delayed because Trump wants his name on them

The move marks the first time a president’s name has ever appeared on an IRS disbursement

Economic stimulus checks are prepared for printing at the Philadelphia Financial Center. (Photo by Jeff Fusco/Getty Images)

In an unprecedented move, President Donald Trump is having his name printed on stimulus checks before they go out— a move that may delay checks by a few days.

READ MORE: Americans begin receiving coronavirus stimulus checks from federal government

Senior IRS officials said President Donald J. Trump’s name will be stamped on the left, memo line of the checks sent out to 70 million Americans, according to The Washington Post. This marks the first time a president’s name has ever appeared on an IRS disbursement, and this is true for annual refunds or the few instances where the government issued stimulus money to taxpayers or to pay dividends when the economy was great.

“Taxes are supposed to be nonpolitical, and it’s that simple,” Nina Olson, who was the former head of the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate, the independent IRS entity that helps individual taxpayers with tax challenges and puts on tax clinics for low-income taxpayers, told The Washington Post. “It’s absolutely unprecedented.”

Small Business check

PATERSON, NJ – OCTOBER 06: Small business owners on Main Street are getting hit by the continuing economic crisis, as shaky credit markets and economic slowdown make it harder to do business. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

The IRS is sending the checks to people, many of whom are low-income, who the agency doesn’t have banking information. The direct deposits that have already gone out to roughly 80 million people do not bear Trump’s name.

The checks will carry the signature of an official with the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, the Treasury Department division that prints the checks. The checks will follow direct deposits issued in recent days to the bank accounts of about 80 million people. Those payments do not include Trump’s name.

Trump’s request was no easy feat, according to a Treasury official who spoke to The Washington Post. The IRS’s information technology team had to make a programming change to add the president’s name to the paper checks, and that new code had to be tested. They are expected to be sent to the Bureau of the Fiscal Service for printing and issuing.

The U.S. Treasury Building

WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 29: The U.S. Treasury Building as seen from the Bank of America offices where Politico is holding the inaugural ‘Lessons from Leaders’ program. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“Any last minute request like this will create a downstream snarl that will result in a delay,” explained Chad Hooper, a quality-control manager who serves as national president of the IRS’s Professional Managers Association.

The Treasury rep said the change didn’t delay things and that checks would be mailed out next week.

“Economic Impact Payment checks are scheduled to go out on time and exactly as planned— there is absolutely no delay whatsoever,” the unidentified representative told The Post in a written statement. She said this was even a faster process than when the George W. Bush administration sent out stimulus checks in 2008 for the recession.

READ MORE: Trump, Congress weigh more coronavirus stimulus checks for Americans

“In fact, we expect the first checks to be in the mail early next week which is well in advance of when the first checks went out in 2008 and well in advance of initial estimates,” the rep added in the statement.

The checks are part of the $2 trillion stimulus package, approved by a bipartisan Congress and signed by the president. Although Trump takes credit for sending checks to individual taxpayers, it was not his idea. The president signed on after Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah) proposed the idea.