Where’s my stimulus payment? Some reasons why you haven’t received it

Where's my stimulus payment? Some reasons why you haven't received it



So you still didn’t get your stimulus money? 

If you’re still wondering whether your Economic Impact Payment will arrive soon via check or direct deposit and, maybe just when it will arrive, well, you’re not alone. Tens of millions of consumers remain in the same stimulus boat. 

Last week, the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department declared that more than 130 million Economic Impact Payments, totaling more than $207 billion, had already been sent as part of the coronavirus economic relief effort. The first wave of direct deposit payments hit accounts around April 15. 

The Trump administration maintains that the first rounds of stimulus payments reached Americans in record time, maintaining that it took months to deliver the first 800,000 stimulus checks back during the financial crisis in 2008. 

Even so, that would leave roughly 20 million people or more without their money, based on the IRS estimate that payments will be sent to more than 150 million Americans. Everyone does not qualify – including college students claimed as dependents on their parents’ tax return and many higher-income individuals. 

And while it appears that some money was sent out, some people still have yet to receive it because of a few glitches along the way. 

Here’s what you need to know: 

How to get $500 extra for those receiving some benefits

Those receiving veterans disability or pension benefits would automatically receive a $1,200 stimulus check from government even if you don’t normally file a tax return. The same is true for those receiving Supplemental Security Income. 

But people receiving those government benefits need to act by May 5, if they also have one or more dependent children ages 16 and younger and want to get more money now. You could qualify for an extra $500 per child.

If you didn’t file a tax return for 2018 or 2019, you’d want to update information via the “Non-filers” tool at IRS.gov. 

The IRS said in its news release that these groups need to “act by Tuesday, May 5” in order to put all of their eligible Economic Income Payment into a single payment. But the IRS declined on Monday to clarify or give a specific time for that deadline.

What to do if I didn’t get enough money

You’re likely going to have to wait until next year when you file your tax return if you received less than you qualify for.

“If you did not receive the full amount to which you believe you are entitled,” the IRS stated, “you will be able to claim the additional amount when you file your 2020 tax return. This is particularly important for individuals who may be entitled to the additional $500 per qualifying child dependent payments.” 

Why the money went to an account I don’t recognize

The IRS offered an explanation last week for some taxpayers who have gone online to “Get My Payment” at IRS.gov and then spotted that their stimulus money has been sent to some strange bank account number.

The taxpayers in such situations might have opted for a financial product when they had their tax returns prepared that help them cover their fees, get their refund more immediately or even load the refund onto a direct debit card.

Maybe you took out a refund anticipation loan or received a refund anticipation check. Or maybe you received a prepaid debit card as part of the process. 

“In some cases, your Economic Impact Payment may have been directed to the bank account associated with the refund settlement product or prepaid debit card,” the IRS said.

But if that account is closed or no longer active, the bank is required to reject the deposit and return it to the IRS.

And then, the IRS is going to need to send the payment by mail to the address on the 2019 or 2018 tax return, or the address on file with the U.S. Postal Service — whichever is more current.

“The status in Get My Payment will update accordingly,” the IRS said. “Timing of this process depends on several variables, including when and how the payments are rejected and returned to the IRS, when “Get My Payment” updates, and when taxpayers check the tool.”

What to do with some error messages

The IRS updated its “Get My Payment” tool to fix some headaches. But some people continue to get error messages in some cases.

The IRS advises that you go back and check your most recent tax return or consider if there is a different way to enter your street address (for example, 123 N Main St vs 123 North Main St). 

“You may also verify how your address is formatted with the U.S. Postal Service by entering your address in the USPS ZIP Lookup tool, and then enter your address into Get My Payment exactly as it appears on file with USPS,” the IRS said. 

“If you receive an error when entering your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI), refund amount, or amount you owed, make sure you are entering the numbers exactly as they appear on your Form 1040 or tax transcript. If the numbers from your 2019 tax return are not accepted, try the numbers from your 2018 tax return instead.”

Be warned: “If the information you enter does not match our records three times within 24 hours, you will be locked out of Get My Payment for 24 hours for security reasons. You will be able to access the application again after 24 hours.”

What if you owed taxes and the IRS withdrew money from your bank 

The IRS is able to automatically use your bank account information for direct deposit of the stimulus checks if you had a tax refund directly deposited into that bank account in 2018 or 2019. If you owed money, though, the IRS needs to get that direct deposit information directly from you via the “Get My Payment” portal. 

And if you opt to receive tax refunds via check in the mail, you should expect to receive a paper check for your stimulus payment and that could take longer.

Going forward, stimulus checks are being issued in a reverse order based on the “adjusted gross income,” with the lower income households receiving money first. 

Follow Susan Tompor on Twitter: @tompor.

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/05/04/stimulus-check-money/3082063001/


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