Fact Check

Did Biden Sign His Name on IRS Letter About Stimulus Checks?

Former U.S. President Donald Trump also made news when his name was imprinted on stimulus checks near the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Published May 11, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 26: (L-R) Vice President Kamala Harris looks on as U.S. President Joe Biden signs executives orders related to his racial equity agenda in the State Dining Room of the White House on January 26, 2021 in Washington, DC. President Biden signed executive actions Tuesday on housing and justice reforms, including a directive to the Department of Justice to end its use of private prisons. (Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images) (Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)
Image Via Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images
U.S. President Joe Biden signed his name on letters from the IRS announcing his administration's stimulus relief measures.

In April 2021, U.S. Twitter users began to tweet about receiving an "unexpected" letter in their mailboxes. The letter, which was purportedly signed by U.S. President Joe Biden and packaged in an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) envelope, detailed stimulus check payments and the American Rescue Plan. The federal assistance was intended to help Americans in the recovery effort during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Criticism of Trump Signature

In the past, former U.S. President Donald Trump added his signature to COVID-19 stimulus checks, also known as Economic Impact Payments.

The IRS Letter From Biden

It was true that Biden signed a letter about his administration's stimulus check payments and that copies arrived at American households in an IRS envelope.

Snopes.com obtained a copy of the letter. At the top, it said "The White House":

President Joe Biden sent out a letter about stimulus check payments that was sealed in an IRS envelope and had The White House letterhead.

'An Internet Explorer President'

A handful of tweets pointed out the potentially frightening prospect of seeing an IRS envelope in the mailbox:

Others remarked about how the letter was perhaps quite late for the subject matter:

In case readers don't get the ageist joke here, Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser has long been considered by some users to be inferior, slower, and more vulnerable to security issues than newer (read: younger) applications such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

The White House Responds to Questions

On May 7, 2021, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked about the letter signed by Biden. Business Insider reported that she told a reporter that the letter was "not intended to make it about him."


Reporter: Thanks Jen. On the subject of the stimulus checks, the president sent out a letter to millions of Americans who have gotten these checks and just a few weeks ago, when you were asked if his name was going to be on the checks, you said this is not about him. So why did he feel the need to send this letter?

Jen Psaki: Well, I think the primary driving reason at the time several weeks ago was that it could potentially delay the direct payments going out if they needed to be signed by the President, and we just didn’t think that was an appropriate step to take. So this is a pretty standard letter that goes out with physical checks that are made of which there are a small percentage of these checks that are actually physical checks, but it was just a letter that went out with them, but not intended to make it about him. It’s about the American people. And we didn’t have him sign the checks because we were concerned about any impact that would have on delaying them going out to the public.

In sum, it's true that Biden signed his name on a letter about stimulus check payments that was sealed in an IRS envelope and sent to American households.

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.

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