500 stimulus cards out soon

Atalig expects distribution of new batch this month

Division of Revenue and Taxation director Tracy Norita disclosed Friday that they just closed last week a batch of about 500 new CNMI stimulus cards that will soon be mailed out to taxpayers.

Speaking about the stimulus card distribution during a radio press briefing, Norita said the batch of 500 new stimulus cards is currently with their card processor.

“We will print the cards and mail them to each taxpayer’s last known address,” she said.

At the same press briefing, Finance Secretary David DLG Atalig said many of those who did not receive their local stimulus card was due to a lack of a 2020 tax return. He said majority of those who did not receive the cards are zero-income taxpayers. He said these taxpayers must still submit a 2020 zero income tax return in order to be included in the next batch of distribution of stimulus cards.

“We are trying to get another stimulus batch out this month, the month of September,” Atalig said.

He assured that they won’t close the CNMI stimulus cards program if there are still people who are eligible and qualified to receive the local stimulus.

“We will send that out to them. And so please be patient with our [Division of] Tax & Revenue team. They’re doing their best to try to help everyone and all of those in our community,” Atalig said.

He recently disclosed that they have already distributed over 20,000 stimulus cards, but they are aware that there are still some who have not gotten their cards yet.

Norita said they did receive a lot of questions regarding the additional funds that that they did not receive on their stimulus card. Norita said it is maybe because it was based off on a 2019 tax return and they’re entitled to additional funds.

“That programming is still in progress for additional funds to the stimulus card. So yes, we are working on that. We have still the end of the year to complete the programming and the issuance of payments,” she said.

As for those who lost their stimulus cards or whose cards were stolen, or those with activation issues, Norita said they can call the call center at 664-1040 starting today, Tuesday.

“Our call center agents will be able to help them suspend their cards if needed. And what will happen is they they’d have to come in and request for a replacement of the lost or stolen card,” she said.

Norita said those having any activation issues may also call and the Call Center would be able to walk them through the process to see if there’s any issues that need to be cleared.

Eligible individuals are receiving $500, plus $500 for each dependent.

Finance earlier stated that they expect to distribute $25 million for 28,000 local stimulus checks using American Rescue Plan Act money.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com
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