This article was last updated on January 4
[Update with Second Stimulus Check Payment] The IRS has started paying the recently approved $600/$1200 stimulus check (recovery rebate credit) for adults and their child dependents. As expected there are many who are seeing issues, especially non-filers. Their main IRS status tool (Get My Payment) for checking stimulus payments has been offline, so hard to to get real time updates and many are especially those expecting dependent checks are seeing delays with their payment. However the IRs is expecting this to be available soon and official payment status’ should be available from January 4th, 2021 until January 15th 2021, when the IRS is required to make payments. You can see the IRS processing schedule for stimulus payments here.
For those who don’t receive a direct deposit by mid-January, they should watch their mail for either a paper check or a debit card. For those eligible but who don’t receive the payment for any reason, it can be claimed by filing a 2020 tax return in 2021. Remember, the Economic Impact Payments are an advance payment of what will be called the Recovery Rebate Credit on the 2020 Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR.
While the IRS is using 2019 tax returns for payment of the second stimulus check (or economic impact payment 2). payments are also automatic for anyone who successfully registered for the first payment online at IRS.gov using the agency’s Non-Filers tool by November 21, 2020 or who submitted a simplified tax return that has been processed by the IRS. . While the IRS had setup a non-filers tool for the first stimulus payment, this time around they are not doing that and will use information from the first stimulus check payments or work directly with the relevant federal agencies to obtain the information needed to send out the new payments.
What if I changed or updated my bank account details this year?
If you changed your bank account and it is different from your 2019 return then you will receive the payment as a check or debit card in the mail. You won’t be able to update your bank account online with the IRS for the second stimulus checks.
Get My Payment tool status
People can check the status of both their first and second payments by using the Get My Payment tool, available in English and Spanish only on IRS.gov. The tool is being updated with new information nightly.
Why am I getting payment status not available? For those constantly checking their stimulus payment status (and since only updated once a day, this won’t be much of a help) this message means the IRS has likely not gotten around to processing your stimulus check payment based on your recent return or the IRS systems are overloaded since this is the default message! Sit tight and check once a day. Those with the lowest incomes are getting paid first.
Following on from the details, below here are some more resolutions to common errors in the IRS tool when trying to find the status of your stimulus check payment
Roughly three-quarters of people who are eligible for a $1,200 stimulus payment from the federal government have received it, according to the Treasury Department.
Note – The IRS has already announced it will make additional rounds of payment via direct deposit and paper checks each week. The first round went to people the IRS already had direct deposit information on file for, from their 2018 or 2019 tax returns. The next round will be sent to those who recently provided the IRS with their direct deposit information.
Most of the recent comments I am getting on my popular 2020 Stimulus Check (Economic Impact) payment article are essentially readers complaining, stressed and/or totally confused about why they didn’t get the stimulus payment they were expecting, or worse they didn’t get a stimulus check at all! This includes questions and comments on the $500 dependent child stimulus. You can see screenshots from the IRS stimulus tracker tool below that have spurned some of the questions around the missing stimulus check payments. You’ve probably seen the same unhelpful messages when you go to the IRS site and try and get the status of your stimulus check. To be fair, the IRS website is getting a lot of traffic and at this stage they are focused on paying versus resolving or discussing the stimulus check payments. But hopefully here are some answers around your 2020 stimulus check payments that I hope can help.
Why didn’t I get a stimulus check? Assuming you met the eligibility criteria and income requirements to get the stimulus check, the reason you haven’t gotten it by direct deposit yet is that the IRS does not have your bank details or you have an old bank account details in your latest IRS tax filing. Remember that the IRS has to have your direct deposit details, which for most Americans is normally only provided if you received a 2018 or 2019 refund when you filed your taxes. If you filed a return and cannot use the IRS portal for non-filers to add direct deposit details, then your payment will come via check which could take several weeks. At this stage checks will likely start arriving at your IRS registered address from the end of April.
Why was my stimulus payment incorrect? If you got a check but the payment was not correct, make sure you review that you met all the credit to get the full credit as it does phase out about minimum income levels shown below. Also ensure you are looking at your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) on your last 1040 tax filing. If none of these help then you will have to wait for your Stimulus Payment Letter (see below).
Why didn’t I receive the $500 stimulus payment for my dependents? Other than making sure your income was below the eligible levels, remember the following key criteria to get this credit. It is quite strict and may disqualify a number of people with dependents.
- They must be related to you (blood, marriage, or adoption)
- They must either be under the age of 17 at the end of 2019
- You must claim them as a dependent on your latest (2018 or 2019) tax return
- They cannot provide more than half of their financial support during the tax year and must have lived with you for at least half of the year
- They must be a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national or a U.S. resident alien
But I am 100% eligible for the stimulus payments and I have filed a return. For many recipients the reason they haven’t yet got a stimulus check is due to the fact the IRS systems processing these payments is truly not working. One common error being reported is that those who did not owe or did not get a refund on their last return are stuck in limbo with the new IRS system. The IRS is aware of these and other issues and trying to correct them. 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.
Can I contact the IRS for Stimulus Check Payment Issues or Errors? The IRS will be mailing Stimulus Payment Letters as mandated by the CARES act to each eligible recipient’s last known address 15 days after the payment is made. The letter will provide information on how the stimulus payment was made and how to report any failure to receive the payment. I am also reading the IRS or Treasury will launch a portal/site after the first round of stimulus payments are made for people to appeal payments and even start allowing their call centres to address stimulus payment issues.
Note that the IRS will not contact you about your stimulus check payment details either. Watch out for scams and people trying to steal this information from you in the name of expediting your Economic Impact Payments.
Child Support Arrears and Injured spouse claims? The IRS has confirmed that the stimulus check payments will NOT be offset or intercepted for those owe tax, have a payment agreement or owe other federal or state debts. It will however be OFFSET for past-due child support. This is because a court order for child support continues until it is modified or terminated. Similarly with unemployment compensation stimulus increases, your child support may be withheld from the UI payments. You will get a notice from BFS, along with your stimulus payment letter if this happens.
The IRS also stated that If you are married filing jointly and you filed an injured spouse claim with your 2019 tax return (or 2018 tax return if you haven’t filed your 2019 tax return), half of the total payment will be sent to each spouse and your spouse’s stimulus check payment will be offset only for past-due child support. There is no need to file another injured spouse claim for the payment.
Will there be another stimulus check? There is a high likelihood of this happening if the American economy does not improve after the Coronavirus induced recessions does not ease-up. See more in this article.