Not Dead Yet: SVOG Award Notices Trickle In, SBA Addresses Mismatched Death Files
Award notifications for Shuttered Venue Operator Grants are beginning to trickle in, but not at the rate that applicants are being told there are issues with their paperwork or, worse, that they can’t be paid because they are dead.
At press time, the U.S. Small Business Administration reported that 31 award notifications have been issued out of 13,619 applications submitted. Many of those applicants report receiving SBA emails informing them of discrepancies or other issues, particularly with the Internal Revenue Service which essentially cross checks tax return information against applications for aid.
In many cases, applicants report receiving Do Not Pay notices, either because of a past debt or, in some cases, labeled with a match source of DMF – indicating they’re on the government’s Death Master File.
Michael Swier, founder of New York City’s Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge, received such a notice June 2 and tells the New York Times that he was “beside himself” trying to correct the error.
“What do I do? What kind of proof do they need?” Swier asked the Times. “Can I say over the phone, ‘It’s me?’”
Many frantic contacts were made June 2 with the SBA, IRS and legislators by organizations and individuals who have been shepherding the relief efforts since the beginning of the pandemic more than a year ago and some progress in rectifying the latest glitches has been reported.
Key issues have been identified and are believed to be corrected in filing of 4506T forms, including the removal of the code “DA” from the customer file number (though anyone refiling the form is advised to manually remove it anyway). Another is the requirement of a “wet” signature (pen and ink) rather than an electronic one.
Applicants are asked to not submit corrected 4506T forms until notified to do so; however, Bandit Lites founder Michael Strickland recommends preparing a corrected form and having it ready to return as soon as the notification is received. It’s noted that Tier 1 applicants have a deadline of June 9 to submit applications or corrections in order to receive funds.
In the case of DNP / DMF notices, it appears that employer identification numbers were erroneously matched with Social Security Numbers belonging to people who are deceased.
NIVA President Dayna Frank says anyone needing to submit a corrected form must follow all instructions, provide the wet signature, and upload the corrected 4506T form to the SVOG portal one time only. In the meantime, NIVA has notified its members that the DMF glitch has been addressed, and the SBA is withdrawing the DMF designation.
“SVOG applicants with a DNP hold due to an EIN/SSN match but NOT a name match on the master death file will be cleared in the system with no further action required by the applicant,” according to a notice sent by the SBA June 3.
“…It will take a couple of days for the system status to reflect that ‘action required’ status has been closed. In cases where the EIN/SSN *ALSO* matches a name on the Death Master File, the applicant will need to follow the instruction on the DNP site to resolve the issue with the matched source/agency.”