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Conclusion and Beginning of EIP Litigation Regarding Incarcerated Individuals

Posted on Dec. 18, 2020

We reported here, here and here on the swift and resounding victory for incarcerated individuals in the United States. Though the reason the IRS reversed itself and took the position that incarcerated individuals were ineligible for the stimulus payments remains a mystery, the litigation regarding these individuals came to a quiet close on December 11, 2020, when the 9th Circuit filed the Government’s unopposed motion for voluntary dismissal of its appeal. The docket text in the 9th Circuit states that “The appeal is dismissed with prejudice. See Fed. R. App. P. 42(b). This order served on the district court shall act as and for the mandate of this court.” Thus closing the chapter on the ability of incarcerated individuals to receive the stimulus payments. That does not mean that all has gone or will go smoothly regarding the delivery of those payments.  The passage of those payments through state and federal efforts by prison authorities to take them and use them before they reach the incarcerated individuals is a story still unfolding.

Meanwhile, the success of the Scholl case in the United States proper has generated litigation regarding the impact of this litigation on those incarcerated in territories.  Joe DiRizzo has taken up the mantle to pursue assistance for individuals incarcerated in the Virgin Islands.  His pleadings in the case are attached here, here, an here. See the government opposition here.

For those of us living in the United States proper it’s easy to forget the impact of our tax code on territories of the United States. Reading through the pleadings provides a window into the mirror laws that exist and how tax changes impact the territories. The story is only at its beginning for incarcerated individuals in the territories but perhaps the victory that started in San Francisco will play out in US territories across the world.

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