With COVID-19 case numbers still surging across the United States and the economic damage of the pandemic and lockdowns hitting hard, an increasing number of Americans are relying on stimulus checks from the IRS to see them through (even if they're $600 instead of $2,000). Beginning Dec. 29, these payments started being sent out, but some taxpayers have yet to see their money in their bank accounts or mailboxes. If you're wondering where your stimulus check is, there are a few reasons it might be running behind or worse, you may not be automatically getting it all if you see one message on the IRS's Get My Payment (GMP) tool.
"If GMP shows 'Payment Status #2 – Not Available,' then you will not receive a second Economic Impact Payment," the IRS posted on its site on Jan. 5.
Read on to find why you may not have gotten your stimulus check yet and what you can do about it. And for more on the latest COVID news, check out Dr. Fauci Just Issued This Warning About Another New COVID Strain.
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Your 2019 tax return hasn't been processed.
The second round of stimulus checks is based on 2019 tax returns, so if yours has not been processed—an issue COVID has created with the IRS being backlogged—you're not automatically getting a second stimulus check. As of November, the IRS was still processing 7.1 million tax returns. But you can claim it when filing your 2020 taxes. And for more regular updates, sign up for our daily newsletter.
You filed your taxes through TurboTax or H&R Block.
Many taxpayers use third party firms who prepare their tax paperwork and are paid from the refund that the taxpayer receives. In order to do this, the company sets up a temporary account that receives the funds, then they take their cut, and pass the rest on to the taxpayer, before closing the account. However, this has some funds being sent to closed accounts. In fact, according to NBC News, it's believed that as many as 14 million people may be affected by this issue.
Intuit's TurboTax service tweeted that they were aware of customers not receiving their payment because of the third-party account issue, as did H&R Block. "Because of the speed at which the law required the IRS to issue the second round of Economic Impact Payments, some payments may have been sent to an account that may be closed or, is or no longer active, or unfamiliar," the IRS posted on Jan. 5. "By law, the financial institution must return the payment to the IRS; they cannot hold and issue the payment to an individual when the account is no longer active."
Some of these customers will still get their funds automatically direct deposited to their bank account, while others may receive a paper check or a reloadable pre-paid debit card. Still, some may have to wait to get a credit on their 2020 taxes. And for more on the latest news about the stimulus bill, check out The COVID Relief Bill Sneakily Makes This Common Behavior a Felony.
You're getting a debit card or paper check.
Though non-direct deposit payments began on Dec. 30, the IRS is still in the process of sending out paper checks as well as payments on pre-paid debit cards. If this is how you received your payment during the first round of stimulus checks, you will likely receive your second payment the same way unless you set up direct deposit when filing your 2019 tax return.
"Anyone who received the first round of payments earlier this year but doesn't receive a payment via direct deposit will generally receive a check or, in some instances, a debit card. For those in this category, the payments will conclude in January," the IRS said in a statement on Dec. 29. "If GMP reflects a date your payment was mailed, it may take up to 3 – 4 weeks for you to receive the payment. Watch your mail carefully for a check or debit card."
Your have a new bank account or address.
If you recently changed bank accounts or your home address is new, your payment may have gone to the wrong place. "In the first round of checks directed by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (or CARES Act), people could enter or correct their bank account information at the 'Get My Payment' site," CBS News notes. "However, that's not an option in the second round."
"You will not be able to add new routing or account information and cannot request to receive your payment by EIP Card," the IRS said on Dec. 30.
Unfortunately, you will have to wait and claim your stimulus payment as a credit on your 2020 federal tax return. And for more on where the pandemic is looking the worst, check out This Is How Bad the COVID Outbreak Is in Your State.