This article was last updated on January 20
[Updates Following Payment of Second Round of 2020 Stimulus Checks] The recently passed $900 billion COVID relief bill includes another round of stimulus payments for adults and ALL qualifying dependent children under the age of 17 at the end of 2020. While the adult stimulus check amount was only $600, half of the original $1200 stimulus payment, in order to keep the overall stimulus package price tag reasonable for Republican Senators to approve, the new dependent stimulus payment will be $100 more at $600 per qualified dependent. You can see full details of this payment and updated income thresholds in this article.
[Updated January 20th] The IRS is still sending dependent stimulus payments but it’s ONLY to the taxpayers whose payment got deposited into a wrong account or waiting to get it by check or debit card. The IRS will not be issuing new or additional payments to anyone who hasn’t yet received their expected dependent stimulus payment and has no payment status showing in the GMP tool. I spoke to them by phone because like all of you I didn’t receive it either. I was told I HAVE to file taxes even if I’m a non filer. They are prepping up their system for tax filing season and have no time to issue missing dependent payments unfortunately. See the FAQs below on how to claim your missing or incorrect dependent stimulus via a recovery rebate credit (RRC).Jen R (comment)
Also I have posted two recent videos on this topic – one is a detailed review of the $600 Dependent Stimulus and the subsequent one is a Q&A for Issues People are Seeing with this Payment (please like and subscribe if you find these videos useful).
Issues with my Second Dependent Stimulus Check (Recovery Rebate) Payments
Like the first round of dependent payments (see updates below), many readers are reporting similar issues with the IRS payments for the second child dependent stimulus payment, despite already having received their adult stimulus checks. At this point it is best to wait for the IRS to finish processing (January 15, 2021), especially if you had issues with the first round of payments. They will be using your 2019 tax return or Non-Filer data (for those who don’t file a tax return) as of November 21st, 2020 to determine how and who gets paid.
If you haven’t yet received your stimulus payment you will need to check state on the IRS website (Get My Payment GMP Tool), call their call center (later in January 2021 is better) or just file for this when you submit your 2020 tax return in 2021. Major tax software providers like Turbo Tax and Tax Act are updating their software to allow tax payers to claim their missing first or second stimulus payment as a recovery rebate with their 2020 tax filing.
Its Mid-January and I Still haven’t got my payment. Help!
Based on the comments below and on the videos above a lot of people are still reporting they have yet to receive their dependent stimulus payment, despite having received their adult stimulus check. The IRS is still processing payments, including those by direct deposit, check and debit card, so you need to keep checking the status for your payment online as it could change (only updated nightly). The IRS has also noted issues with payments related to tax filing with some large tax filing providers and mistakes on their end that required them to redirect payments (e.g. incorrect bank account) as checks and debit cards. However if you have not received your stimulus payment by the end of January or get a status in GMP tool saying it will be paid ten the only recourse you will likely have is to claim it via filing a 2020 tax return (see free options here at TurboTax).
Can I update dependent information in the non-filers tool?
The non-filers tools is closed for updates now. So if you haven’t got paid or the GMP tool is not showing payment by check or debit card by now, you won’t be get automatically paid and really only have two options left – either claim it via a recovery rebate credit in your tax return or hope that the IRS reopens the non-filer tool at some point (or works with agency to figure out missed payments). I think the later option will mean several months delays if the first stimulus was any indication. Even if you don’t file (and didn’t expect to this year) you may need to do so to get your payment sooner. You can also use this approach to update your dependent information and bank account details. Also note if you don’t file and someone else (e.g. an ex spouse) does file a 2020 tax return legitimately claiming your dependent they will get the stimulus payment and you may permanently miss out. So file unless you have a strong reason not too or are okay with potentially waiting months or missing out on the stimulus payment. With a third Biden stimulus payment likely in March or April 2021, this makes not filing a less appealing option.
No Deposit in Your Bank Account? Then you may be getting a Debit Card in the Mail
Per the latest IRS processing schedule update, they have nearly completed paying the second stimulus check payments that were sent out by direct deposit. This includes dependent payments. They are now processing stimulus payments that were known to have errors and as a result millions of taxpayers will receive their second Economic Impact Payments (stimulus checks) by debit card instead. These prepaid debit cards are faster and more secure than checks, and can easily converted to cash.
Note that the form of payment for the second stimulus check may be different than the first one (even if you got it late via check). Some people who received a paper check last time might receive a prepaid debit card this time, and some people who received a prepaid debit card last time may receive a paper check. People can check the status of both their first and second payments by using the IRS’ Get My Payment tool, which will show the mailing date for these debit cards. If you have not received your stimulus payment in the mail (debit card or check) by the end of January and the GMP tool has does not show the payment then the only recourse you will likely have is to claim it via filing a 2020 tax return.
How do I claim the missing stimulus check payment for my dependents if I don’t file a return and don’t plan to in 2020 (e.g. social security recipient)?
Getting a lot of comments from people who don’t file taxes and wondering how they can claim the missing stimulus check for their dependents (or themselves). Basically even if you don’t file taxes you still had to file a Non filers form on the IRS website. It’s too late as of now to file that from and get the second payment out to you as that deadline has passed (was Nov 20th, 2020) and the non-filers tool is closed. The IRS is now recommending that even non-filers must file Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR to claim the missing stimulus payments (officially known as a Recovery Rebate Credit). Anyone with income of $72,000 or less can file this form for free through most large tax providers like Turbo Tax or Tax Act, or electronically for free through the IRS Free File Program
2018 vs 2019 return data causing payment issues
Several people are reporting (in comments below and video above) that they are seeing payment issues with the second round of payments. One significant item I am seeing cause these issues is that the IRS used 2018 returns in several instances for the first dependent stimulus payment, while this time they are only using people’s 2019 return (or non-filers data from first stimulus payment). So if your data is different between the two years then your dependent check will have payment issues.
Other items to check for: Ensure no one else has claimed your dependent. If you have an ex-spouse or another guardian who are claimed them in their 2019 return (or via non-filer tool) then you will have issues getting the second round of dependent stimulus (recovery rebate) payments. Note that the IRS will not be deducting
Missing Payment Status means no automatic stimulus
According to the IRS, if the GMP reflects a direct deposit date and partial account information, then your payment has been sent via direct deposit. If you see a mailing date, that’s when a check or debit card was sent and could take 3 to 4 weeks to get to you. However if you get the status of “Payment Status #2 – Not Available” on the Get My Payment (GMP) stimulus tracker tool, it means you won’t be getting the second stimulus check automatically sent to you. Instead you would have to claim in your 2020 tax return filing and claim it is a recovery rebate credit. There is no second round of automatic payments for this status
Also the IRS is making payments in several batches, so you may get your adult stimulus check first and your dependent one a few days or weeks later if processed in subsequent payment batches. This is likely the case if you had issues with your first payment and faced delays when getting.
[Update on First Stimulus payment for Dependents] As you can see from the many recent comments on this article, it looks like the GAO (Government Accountability Office) and IRS have resolved glitches on the non-filer portal for those who do not file a tax return. This means the $500 dependent stimulus, approved under the CARES act, which was missing for many eligible recipients is now being processed. Those who missed getting their payments with their original $1200/$2400 stimulus check have reported that starting July the IRS has been mailing and depositing their overdue payments. So they no longer need to wait till 2021 to file their return or wait for another fix to get the much needed $500 payment.
Per the IRS, “The IRS corrected the programming error on May 17, 2020. The IRS will automatically issue additional $500 EIP per qualifying child to affected individuals in early August. Direct deposit payments are scheduled for August 5, 2020, and paper checks or debit cards are scheduled to be mailed August 7, 2020.”
Further, another $500 dependent stimulus payment has all but been confirmed under the latest stimulus package being developed in Congress. You can see further details in this article. The good news is that eligibility for this payment will be expanded for those under 24 (vs under 17 in first payment). You should expect to see this payment paid along with the second stimulus check for eligible recipients.
Spouse’s past-due child support. The IRS is also actively working to resolve cases where a portion or all of an individual’s payment was taken and applied to their spouse’s past-due child support. People in this situation do not need to take any action. The IRS will automatically issue the portion of the stimulus check that was applied to the other spouse’s debt.
[Previous Update] With over 100 million stimulus payments made, one of the most concerning questions I am seeing is around individuals or families receiving the standard adult stimulus check (a.k.a economic impact payment) of $1200 or $2400 but not receiving the $500 payment for each of their qualified child dependents. Here is what I found when looking into this further.
The first thing to check is that you do indeed meet all the required income and qualify child criteria (e.g under 17) for the $500 per dependent child stimulus payment. Remember for most Americans this is based on your 2018 or 2019 (whichever was the latest) tax return filed and approved by the IRS. Not your current situation or changes since you filed your last return.
The criteria to receive this kids stimulus credit is even higher thank the Child Tax Credit (CTC), so if you didn’t qualify for the CTC in past years you won’t qualify for this payment either.
Social Security retirement, disability benefits (SSDI) and Railroad Retirement benefit recipients and for those that earn too little to file a tax return need to have registered via the IRS’ Non Filers payment update tool to receive the $500 per dependent child payment in addition to their $1,200 individual payment. This is because the IRS does not have the the qualifying dependent information for these groups.
So I did all of the above and met all criteria but still didn’t get the $500 kid payment? Some possible answers.
For many recipients, who have met all the criteria for the child stimulus, the reason they haven’t yet got a stimulus check is due to the fact the IRS systems processing these payments are truly not working due to technical or data glitches around how the IRS systems manages dependent information. Eg if your child’s information has gaps or missing information or you didn’t provide a valid SSN in your latest tax return then no payment will be made.
Those using the IRS non-filers tool to enter dependent information have also been disproportionately impacted by the missing $500 payments. This is likely another technical glitch with the fillable form as discussed subsequent to the IRS update below.
The other likely explanation you didn’t get the payment is because someone else claimed the dependent on their tax return or in a later filing than yours. This is a big issue for families that are divided, filing separately or where the dependent is not a direct child of the claimant. So you need to make sure that you were the sole claimant or someone else may have received the $500 payment. Finally your payment can be intercepted for overdue child support payments. So you may have gotten the payment but it went to your spouse or someone else who claimed the child.
Another common error being reported is that those who did not owe or did not get a refund on their latest return are stuck in limbo within IRS payment systems because the IRS does not have their banking details. The IRS is aware of these types of issues and trying to correct them in ongoing system update. They have advised they are doing multiple batches of stimulus check payments and those whose payment were held by due to IRS errors may start seeing them in coming weeks (mailed out via paper checks)
One reader left a comment that stated the following, “We got the payment for myself and my wife and it was deposited into an account that was only set up a few months ago so we know they used the information from our 2019 return (plus we weren’t required to file in 2018). But while that return has all the info for both our 5 year old and our 1 year old we did not receive the $500 for either of them. The deposit we received was $2400 instead of $3400. This is especially frustrating because we actually weren’t required to file in 2019 either, but we used the TurboTax thing that came out a couple of weeks before payments started and was marketed as the fastest way for non-filers to get their info to the IRS (which was actually by filing a very limited return). So we went out of our way to use this tool which was supposedly put out in partnership between Intuit and the IRS to get them our info and they still screwed it up?
The above comment confirms another potential cause for the missing $500 payment attributed to filing a simple return via Tax software providers (like Turbo Tax, HR Block) which has caused issues when it comes to the IRS processing dependent payments for these filings. The evidence is anecdotal but the above comment does confirm what many lower income Americans are seeing. Hopefully the IRS fixes this (or provides a number to call) or they’ll have to wait till filing their 2020 return to claim the $500 payment.
Can I call the IRS? At this point there is little recourse for most people trying to resolve this by speaking to someone at the IRS. The agency however just announced they are adding live representatives to take calls on the stimulus check payments (see details here). Most people will still however have to wait for their Economic Impact Payment letter as a way to confirm payment and follow-up on missing or incorrect payments.
IRS Update on $500 payment – Unfortunately the IRS has confirmed that those who did not receive the full amount of their expected stimulus payment, including the supplementary $500 child dependent payment, will need to claim the additional amount when they file their 2020 tax return. This is a tough break for many families who needed/expected the $500 payment as soon as possible and were hoping to get a supplementary or corrective payment in the mail sometime in the near future. You’ll now need to wait till 2021 when you file your tax return to fix this and get paid the child stimulus if you are eligible.
VA and SSI recipients may have a little more time to have the $500 added automatically to their standard stimulus check payment by using the Non-Filers tool (via IRS website). However they must file by May 5th to qualify or like most American’s they will have to wait until 2021 to get the additional $500 when filing a 2020 tax return.
Note, a number of comments below indicate that even using the non-filers tools is causing issues with receiving this payment. There seems to be a problem with the online form where there is no box to check to claim your kids as dependents , even though you put in all their information (the printed form seems to have this). I am sure the IRS is looking into this, but looks like yet another technical/coding glitch with the non-filers tool that is just using online fill-able forms.
Direct Express Account Holders: You may use the Non-Filers tool, but you cannot receive your and your children’s payment on your Direct Express account. You may only select a bank account for direct deposit or leave bank information blank and receive the money by mail.
Both parents received the $500 payment. So a few unmarried or separated parents with an eligible child commented that they both got the $500 child stimulus payment as they filed separately. The good news, or loophole is that there is no provision in the law requiring repayment of the payment. So you get to keep it if you get it. The IRS will send Notice 1444, Your Economic Impact Payment, to each parent and they should keep the notice for their 2020 tax records.
I’ll update this post if I get any additional information or if the IRS posts updated guidance, but feel free to share your story. You can also subscribe via email or follow via social media options shown below to get the latest updates.