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 IRS.gov 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.
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.
- Don’t press anything at all just listen..
- It’ll ask for language preference. Don’t press anything) just wait till the message ends.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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 Update – First 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 IRS.gov 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!