Calling the IRS for Stimulus Check Payment Issues or Checking the Get My Payment Tool vs. Getting Through to a Live Agent


This article was last updated on January 5

[Updated for Second Stimulus Checks] With payment now having started for the approved $600/$1200 stimulus checks, many people are seeing issues with their payments, especially the higher dependent stimulus payment. The IRS have stated there is no action required by eligible individuals to receive this second payment. Given the rapid rollout of the second stimulus check the IRS will only use the payment information in your 2019 tax return or for non filers they will use the information provided in the IRS non-filers tool or to your government agency (for Social Security Recipients, SSI, SSDI or Veterans) as of November 21st, 2020. The means you cannot update bank account/direct deposit or dependent information for the second stimulus check.

While payments for the second stimulus check automatically started at the end of 2020, direct deposit payments that hit accounts before the official payment date of January 4, 2021 are provisional according to the IRS. They have also stated that until the first round of processing (circa Mid-January) is complete taxpayers should not contact their financial institutions or the IRS with payment timing questions. Instead they should check status online at the Get My Payment (GMP) tool on the website.

If you haven’t got your payment in 2 to 3 weeks and cannot see your status on the IRS’ GMP tool, that’s when calling IRS EIP hotline (see below for numbers) may be more helpful. At this stage those who have been able to get through to someone at the IRS have confirmed what is said above and don’t panic if you have not yet received all your stimulus check payments. They are also aware of payment issues with the dependent stimulus and other glitches and working on those as their payment and status systems are updated nightly. I will post updates as they come through.

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Which IRS number to call?

You will need to call the automated line number provided in the Economic Impact Payment letter mailed to you if the IRS issued a payment. The EIP information number is shown in the update below (1800-919-9835). At the conclusion of the automated message (meaning a bit of wait as IRS wants to filter out obvious questions) those who need additional assistance will have the option of talking to a telephone representative. Just be patient as it can take a while to get in touch with a live agent.

Here is a real life experience from a reader on how they got through to a live IRS agent after calling the 1800 919 9835 number. Leave a comment if this worked for you.

  1. Don’t press anything at all just listen..
  2. It’ll ask for language preference. Don’t press anything) just wait till the message ends.
  3. They’ll continue to talk. If they start asking you additional questions (that means you messed up or they heard some background noise) hang up try again.
  4. Repeat step 1 and 2 until you start hearing music playing instead of asking you questions.. ( I think it’s like around the 2:10 time of u waiting) . If you hear music playing you got threw you were one of the chosen ones!
  5. I tried 7 times first answer.. I called again to make sure my theory was correct and it took 10 tries. So while not a quick process, it does work.

[May 2020 UpdateFirst Stimulus Check] The IRS has recently announced that it will be adding 3500 phone operators to answer common inquiries and questions around the Stimulus Check/Economic Impact Payment (EIP).

However the IRS has reiterated that due to COVID mandated federal agency shutdowns, telephone assistance and other services will remain limited, and to use the official IRS website for the latest news and access to frequently asked questions.

[Update] Millions have started receiving the IRS Economic Impact Payment (EIP) letters outlining details of their stimulus payments. It provides details of your payment and a number to call, but don’t get your hopes up. At least not at this point. The number is just an automatic system giving a long message about what and who qualifies, and there are options to listen to more messages but that’s it. I went through each option prompt and it just gave a message for each, said thanks for contacting the IRS and disconnected. In addition the website is no help because although it indicates letters will be sent, which mine was with no help, and my payment status just indicates 1200 already sent with no options to get this fixed for my $500 dependent payment. IRS toll line still has no one taking live calls. For anyone interested the numbers I’ve called are below:
IRS Line 1800-829-1040
EIP Letter IRS 1800-919-9835

I’m giving the number that is included in the EIP letter, because I am hoping that someone else will have better luck than I did.

With great difficulty. At this point the IRS has got most of its staff focused on paying out existing stimulus checks, processing tax refunds and almost all its call centers are closed due to COVID-19 work restrictions.

Those who have received their stimulus payment (around 70 million eligible Americas) can get the status of their stimulus check via the IRS Get My Payment tool. But many are getting the default error, “payment status not available,” which covers many possible issues. People who do get a check will also get a payment confirmation letter which will be mailed to each recipient’s last known address within 15 days after of the stimulus check payment. The IRS has said the letter will provide information on how the payment was made and how to report any failure to receive the payment. It hasn’t been 15 days yet so details on reporting failures is not yet public.

Who can I contact if I haven’t received my expected Stimulus Check?

In fact the IRS have clearly stated that people should NOT attempt to call about the issues with their stimulus checks since they are over 100 million people eligible to get this payment so processing times are long and with millions of tax refunds to process the IRS is not taking calls on this payment.

I can say from personal experience and the many comments I have received on related articles that calling the IRS stage at this point on this topic is pointless. Further the IRS will not call, email, or text you about your stimulus payment for security reasons – so if you get calls or messages from people claiming they can get you a status updates, it’s probably a phishing scam.

The IRS and the agency it falls under, the Treasury Department have not provided any additional guidance or information on how people can report their problems to the IRS other than the stimulus confirmation letter. The rest of us will need to hope that letter will include information on how to report problems, including for those who have not received the stimulus payment they were expecting.

The IRS was supposed to have a webinar discussing the stimulus payments but they just announced the following –

Upcoming Webinars – An Economic Impact Payment Discussion. We regret to inform you that the Economic Impact Payment Discussion webinar scheduled for April 23, 2020, has been postponed. We recognize the tremendous interest in the Economic Impact Payment topic, and we will continue to share important information, updates and resources through and other available communications channels. We apologize for the inconvenience.

So much for the IRS helping! If you are able to contact the IRS please leave a comment or just to share your frustrations with how the stimulus check payment process has been handled!

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231 thoughts on “Calling the IRS for Stimulus Check Payment Issues or Checking the Get My Payment Tool vs. Getting Through to a Live Agent

  1. I called around 2 Central time and got the music on the first try. Was on hold for about 20 minutes but was able to talk to someone. they weren’t able to help too much as they don’t have access to any accounts or anything to see exactly why not but they were as helpful as they could be.

  2. i tryed for a long time but i lost count but it was nearly 20 times of calling to get to the music part,lol now on hold. yay me. but it does work as person mentioned. so keep trying

  3. My 2nd stimulus date said Jan6 and its the 11th and i still haven’t gotten oy.

  4. My second stimulus check was sent to my old bank account which was closed because my mother who was my ssi representative died and I had to get a new representative and new bank account ,I can’t log into my wellsfargo online banking account to cancel the old account on there ,so I guess we both are having trouble with our stimulus checks.

  5. i have not gotten neither one of the stimulus checks for my son, is it because i’m on ssi ?? if not how do i go by getting it??

  6. This is absolute insanity! I am SS and received my 1st Stimulus (for myself only) into an account in which everyones was transitioned over to a different type of account which also had new account numbers back in July. In November, I received a paper check for a dependent stimulus payment I was owed because it had been rejected by the bank. Which means, the IRS had to have altered their system to reflect the rejected payment that resulted in the paper one being issued. Not only that, my regular monthly benefits from SS are direct deposited into the new account monthly and have been since last July. WHY would they send my 2nd stimulus check right back to that same closed account rather than mailing it, which was the way that I last received something from them? (The dependent stimulus I received in November) And WHY would they not send it to the account # where I receive SS benefits? Now I see that they wont be sending replacement checks at all. I now have to wait and “claim it on taxes” which Im not even required to file. Ill be lucky to get it by the summer.

  7. I still haven’t received the first stimulus check. I also have 3 eligible children as well. I think it is due to someone stealing their fathers social and doing a fraudulent return and also received his stimulus check as well. And now the second time around even though he did a fraud alert they gave the same person his second stimulus check. And to top it off you can’t get ahold of anyone. I can’t believe how incompetent our government is when it comes to handing out money to the wrong individuals. I wonder how many deceased individuals will receive checks and others will wait like us.

    1. Me, neither. We have not received the first one with $2900 and the second one with $1200. I called IRS and was told my SSN is not updated by SSA so IRS could not find it. We have filed tax return for 20 years with solid amounts. IRS asked me to contact SSA. Finally, I made an appointment with SSA but SSA staff said they’ve never updated SSN to IRS. It is an auto. system. So now, i do not know who I can ask for. I spent numerical time on calling IRS and SSA. IRS told me they could not find my information. well, I received 2019 tax refund last October. how come? It does not make sense at all!

  8. Stimulus got placed in a random bank account. First stimulus was mailed in May 2020 why would the second stimulus be placed in a unknown account

  9. So my first stimulus check was direct deposited no problem. My second check said it was deposited yesterday to an account I have never seen. What should I do? I havent changed any account info since I filed taxes last year or received my April check. I’m so confused. Could someone have stolen my identity?

  10. My account info hasn’t changed since last year and all of the sudden this time it is changed… why ?? when I looked for the FAQs it says that it could be a direct express payment if i dont recognize the account number and i dont think that is right that they changed it without my knowing.. my bank has no pending deposits.

    1. I’m having the same issue and can’t get ahold of anyone because I don’t recognize the account they sent my second payment to. The first round of checks they sent it to the correct account! Did you find out anything and why they would do that

    2. It looks like someone stole your identity maybe. That happened to my husband the last go around with the stimulus and again this time.

  11. I know this one thing, shouldn’t no one have to deal with not receiving their kids stimulus payment especially if you’ve received it like me for the first stimulus! Also, if your kids were claimed as dependents under the age of 17 .. And a recovery rebate should be for people that didn’t receive that Xtra on the first stimulus..omg the irs need to get it together they had enough time too!

  12. When my parents filed there taxes last year they claimed me as a dependant since then I have moved in with my sister and I turned 17 in august of 2020. Am I able to keep the $600

  13. Well I see a pending $600 payment for the second stimulus as of 12/31/2020, but I claimed my 2 children for 2019 thats under 17 and I didn’t receive the $600 for them nor have I received my 2019 refund yet, what I’m trying to understand how is it possible that they missed them? Especially when they are claimed as my dependents on my 2019? Obviously they used my 2019 information as far as banking information because thats what I provided to the irs.. Please make it make since!

    1. same here only got $600 i should have gotten$2400 total, did anything come later at all??

      1. Nothing at all.. We must call the Irs on Monday..make sure its done before Jan 15th 2021.. because what I see they will be done issuing stimulus checks.. I really can’t understand why the 600 for each of my kids, which is 2 was left out.. the 600 is in my account but my bank offset my account with it.. I thought that was illegal to do like they weren’t allowed to garnish if its a stimulis.. fml honestly… However, I know thats money owed but it would’ve been better if the irs sent the total amount of 1800.00. After all I did claim my 2 kids for 2019, also waiting on that return!

  14. Essentially I’m now 18 years old and was employed have been employed both in 2019-2020 but when I was 17 my aunt filed me under her taxes. Now I got a first stimulus she wrote me a check from her account for the 500$ but I was never given the amount I should’ve gotten from my w-2 I’m unsure if she stole it from me but that’s besides the question now she’s telling me that I don’t get a 2nd stimulus because I was 17 in 2019 that makes absolutely no sense if I got the first one I was just a kid that didn’t know how to file taxes now I don’t know if I’m being lied to, screwed over or genuinely just don’t understand how these things work if someone could please help

    1. Question, did you have your refund going to her checking account. Actually you weren’t supposed to receive any payment if you’re claimed as a dependent 17 and older. Her giving you the $500 was her actually being nice.

      1. I never received my first stimulus check I used the tool that on check that was provided but I kept receiving a message which I didn’t understand so I called SSI to asked what did the reply meant and I was told to file my non worker taxes in February to receive my 1st stimulus payment now that the irs has issue a second payment does that mean I won’t receive the 2nd payment also.

        1. I received 1st stimulus with my 3 kids but this time I didn’t receive any for my kids

        2. I doubt it. Im going through something similar. Its somewhat apparent that they didnt update any SS/SSI records prior to issuing this 2nd payment because Ive been receiving my SS check in a new account for 6 months and they sent it to an old account so I have to file taxes, which I dont have to file in order to get it. I hope it works out differently for you however, you may want to get prepared to wait for a few months.

  15. My brother claimed me and my son on 2018-2019 taxes do to him providing for us so much. Between filing taxes and the first stimulus being sent out he started going down hill and he refused to give me the $500 for my son. He is now in jail and I am worried about not getting the second stimulus as well, even if he were to get out before it came he would most likely spend it on drugs before I even knew it hit. Is there a way for me to file for my own stimulus or somehow get it sent directly to my bank account instead of his? I’m a mother of two now and could really use it to catch up on bills. Thanks in advance!

    1. You would have to wait until u file taxes for 2020 and see you’re eligible for the recovery rebate credit.

  16. I am a 20 year old student who is unemployed and was not put down as dependent. I filled out “Non Filers” info and still no payment after like 3-4 months. Does this mean I am not getting anything? I have correctly entered my direct deposit info and everything. If you’re wondering, last time I did Taxes was in Feb 2019

    1. No it doesn’t mean that, it’s just a waiting period now. The IRS will continue to send payments until 12/31/20. If a person doesn’t receive it by then you’ll be able to claim it as a credit when you file your 2020 tax return.

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