Looking for your third stimulus check? Here’s how the IRS Get My Payment tool can help – CNET


There’s more than one reason to use the IRS’ online tracker tool to get more details on your stimulus check.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The IRS is beginning to send its second round of $1,400 payments this week for the third stimulus check. As of March 17, the IRS said it had already delivered more than 90 million and 150,000 paper checks. And if you don’t receive a direct deposit by March 24 (that’s tomorrow), you can expect to see your payment in the form of a a paper check or EIP card mailed to you instead (that is, if you’re eligible). 

Rather than constantly refreshing your online bank account, the IRS Get My Payment tool can help you track your stimulus check down. This tracker tool will show you if the IRS has processed and scheduled your payment for delivery, which can also flag any issues that might be holding up your payment.

But the information provided in the tracker can be tricky to understand, and there are a few things the IRS Get My Payment tool won’t tell you (like how much you should expect to receive). We’ll walk you through everything you need to know about the tracker tool, and we’ll also show you another free tool to track delivery of a mailed stimulus check. While you’re here, this is the latest talk about a fourth stimulus check. This story was recently updated.

IRS Get My Payment tool’s update schedule: This is what you’ll need to know

The IRS tracking tool, called Get My Payment, is designed to share the status of your third stimulus check, which was approved as part of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief package. To get the status of your third check, enter your Social Security number, date of birth, street address and ZIP code. The tool will then display a message with information about your payment.

What the tool will tell you:

  • Whether the money was sent.
  • The payment method (direct deposit or in the mail).
  • The date your stimulus money was issued.
  • If it can’t yet determine your status — more below on error messages.

What Get My Payment won’t say:

The IRS doesn’t want you to call them if you have a payment problem. The agency says its representatives don’t have information beyond what’s shown in the tool.

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Unfortunately, you can’t set up direct deposit using the Get My Payment tool

If you don’t have a direct deposit account already set up with the federal government, the IRS tool doesn’t have a feature to add it. That’s a departure from the first stimulus check. Even if the IRS is unable to deliver your payment to a bank account and it’s returned, you won’t be able to correct the details online — the IRS says it will resend the money in the mail.

With the IRS officially extending the 2020 tax filing deadline to May 17 and delaying processing returns, trying to register for a new direct deposit account with your 2020 tax return may not get you into the system quickly enough, especially now that the IRS and Treasury have begun sending paper stimulus checks.

What it means if you see the Need More Information status

According to the IRS FAQ for the 2021 payment, a “Need More Information” message in the Get My Payment tool means your payment was returned because the US Postal Service wasn’t able to deliver it.

The FAQ says you’ll be able to have your payment reissued as a direct deposit, by providing a routing and account number for a bank account, a prepaid debit card (the card must be reloadable, the IRS said) or a financial service that has a routing and account number associated with it. The updated FAQ said you can also update your mailing address to receive your payment.


The IRS and US Treasury are sending the third round of stimulus payments.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Payment Status Not Available: What this message signifies

Don’t be alarmed if the Get My Payment tool gives you a message that says “Payment Status Not Available.” You may see this message until your payment is processed, according to the IRS. So, you don’t have to do anything.

However, it could also mean you’re not eligible for a payment, according to the IRS. So you may want to double-check your eligibility and plug in your numbers in our stimulus check calculator to see if you are due money.

You didn’t receive your third check, but the Get My Payment tool says otherwise. Here’s what you should know

If the IRS’ online tool said the agency has issued your stimulus money, but you have no record of it in your bank account and it never arrived in your mailbox, you may need to file a stimulus check payment trace, as long as you’ve waited the requisite time. You’ll need to have the letter the IRS sent you. It can take 15 days for the letter to arrive in the mail.


If your money is tied up in any way, the IRS Get My Payment tracking tool will indicate a problem.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Don’t misplace the IRS letter confirming your third stimulus payment

If the IRS issues you a stimulus check, it sends a notice by mail to your last known address within 15 days after making the payment, to confirm delivery. The letter contains information on when and how the payment was made and how to report it to the IRS if you didn’t receive all the money you’re entitled to. You’ll need to reference this information if you don’t receive your full payment and need to claim your money later. Here’s how to recover the information if you lost or tossed the letter.

Your stimulus check is coming by post, and you can track it directly to your mailbox

If your third stimulus check is going out in the mail, the US Postal Service has a free app that notifies you when it’s about to deliver your stimulus money from the IRS. Called Informed Delivery, the mail-tracking service automatically scans your letters and alerts you as to when they’ll be delivered. Here’s more on how to set up and use the letter-tracking service from the USPS to keep tabs on your payment.

You’re still missing money from the first or second stimulus payments. What can you do now?

The IRS is no longer automatically sending out the first and second payments. If you believe you’re still owed money from either of those payment rounds, your best chance of claiming those funds is to file for the Recovery Rebate Credit as part of the tax season 2020. If you’re eligible, you’ll need to know the amount of money the IRS allotted you, which you can find out online or from the letter the agency mailed. The IRS said the updated Get My Payment tracker won’t give you information on the first and second checks. Instead, you need to set up and check your IRS account for information on those two payments.

For more stimulus check details, here’s everything to know about the third check. Here’s every way the March 2021 stimulus bill can benefit you And this is what we know so far about whether a fourth stimulus check could happen.

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