Where’s my stimulus check? Use this IRS tool to track down your $1,400 payment – CNET

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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 US Treasury announced that 37 million more stimulus checks are on the way this week. But if you didn’t get your payment of up to $1,400 per person via direct deposit by March 24, you should expect your third stimulus payment to arrive in the mail as either a paper check or an EIP card, assuming you’re eligible. How will you know? We’ll tell you how to use the IRS tracker tool — including what it will and won’t tell you and how it can flag issues that might be holding up your payment.

For Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipients awaiting their checks, the issue blocking the payments was resolved when the Social Security Administration sent missing payment files to the IRS, the House Ways and Means Committee said Thursday. This will allow stimulus payments to come to nearly 30 million Americans as soon as the IRS processes those payments. However, if you suspect that something else has gone wrong with your stimulus check and you need to report it to the IRS or your bank, you can use the IRS tool to reveal if your check is processed and scheduled for delivery.

The information the tool, called Get My Payment, provides can be a bit complex to understand, and there are a few things it won’t tell you, like how much money you should expect to receive. We’ll explain everything you need to know about tracking your check. While you’re here, this is the latest talk about a fourth stimulus check. This story has been updated.

IRS Get My Payment tool: What it can tell you

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.

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 doesn’t say

The IRS doesn’t want you to call if you have a payment problem. The agency says its representatives don’t have information beyond what’s shown in the tool. Here’s what we recommend doing to address a stimulus issue.


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You can’t use Get My Payment to set up or correct your direct deposit account information

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 won’t get you into the system quickly enough, especially now that the IRS and Treasury have begun sending paper stimulus checks.

How to decode the ‘Payment Status Not Available’ message

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.

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


Sarah Tew/CNET

Need More Information message: What the status means

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 Get My Payment tool says you received your check, but you actually didn’t. 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 take one of these steps, including possibly filing 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.

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


Sarah Tew/CNET

Your stimulus check is coming by mail, and you can track it right 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.

Don’t throw out 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.

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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