The Internal Revenue Service is asking for help from state officials across the nation to help that agency get some of our money back. I say, our money because that's what tax money is. Well, it was our money until the Internal Revenue Service decided it would be better off in the hands of those that have been convicted of crimes.

As our country's leaders contemplate another COVID-19 stimulus program we are finding out the first attempt at stimulating the nation's economy hasn't worked out nearly as well as was hoped.

When the government stimulus program was first announced there was no language in the proposal that specifically banned those who are incarcerated from getting the same money as regular hard-working, law-abiding citizens. That language was added on May 6th but the IRS has yet to explain the legality of that decision.

We don't know if Louisiana officials have confiscated or returned any of the federal funds that were sent to incarcerated individuals but many states have. Utah, California, Vermont Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Kansas, Idaho, Montana, and California have all intercepted checks. Those checks add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Just to be clear, there are stipulations in the Social Security Act that bans incarcerated individuals from receiving some insurance benefits including old-age and survivor benefits. After all, when you're in jail you're technically already receiving government assistance.

What would happen if an inmate kept the money? We're not sure. However, based on a layman's observation since no laws were broken and the money was obtained legally, I am pretty sure the courts would have to allow the inmate to keep the cash.