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Stimulus Checks

Where is my stimulus check?
If you've asked that question once, twice, three times or more in the last few weeks, you're not alone. If you haven't already received your stimulus check through direct deposit, you may have visited the IRS website to input your direct deposit information on the Get My Payment online portal. Some have successfully updated their information, while others have received a menuPayment Status Not Available" error or faced another roadblock in their quest to get a stimulus check faster. Here are the answers to frequently asked questions about this and other errors to help you navigate through this challenging time:

1. What exactly is the Get My Payment tool?
The Get My Payment tool is available on the IRS website for free and allows you to check your stimulus check payment status and update your personal information, including your direct deposit information if you want to receive your stimulus check in your bank account. While some haven't faced any issues updating their direct deposit information, others have received the Payment Status Not Available message, been locked out, had their web browser crash, and experienced a host of other frustrating technical glitches.

2. Why haven't I received my stimulus payment yet?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions. The first batch of stimulus check recipients provided their direct deposit information on their 2018 or 2019 federal tax return and received a tax refund. If you owe the IRS money or pay through an installment plan, for example, the IRS likely didn't send you a direct deposit check. If you want your stimulus check electronically, you should go to the Get My Payment tool to provide your direct deposit information.

3. I was supposed to get a direct deposit, but I didn't. What do I do?
Your best bet is to provide your direct deposit information through the Get My Payment tool. If you don't receive a direct deposit, it doesn't mean you won't receive a stimulus check. Assuming you qualify, you will receive a paper stimulus check.

4. How do I know that the IRS sent me a stimulus check?
The IRS will mail you a written notice 15 days after sending your stimulus payment. The letter describes the amount of your stimulus payment, how you were paid, and most importantly, how to contact the IRS regarding any issues with your stimulus check.

5. I've checked the Get My Payment tool for several days and keep getting the "Payment Status Not Available" message. Why does this keep happening?
It's frustrating to get the same message for several days. The IRS has said that it's updating the Get My Payment tool daily overnight. There are many reasons why you may receive the menu Payment Status Not Available" message. The two most likely reasons are: a) you may not qualify for a stimulus check; and b) the IRS is still processing your information. First, you can double check to verify that you qualify for a stimulus check.

6. What do you mean that the IRS is still updating my information? Don't they already have my information?
The IRS may be updating your information so that it can process your stimulus tax payment. For example, if you recently filed your 2018 or 2019 federal tax return, the IRS still may be processing your tax return. When you submit your tax return, the IRS doesn't automatically input your direct deposit information into the Get My Payment tool. Your tax return is processed first.

7. I receive Social Security benefits or disability benefits each month. The government already has my information. Why can't I access my stimulus check information on the Get My Payment tool?
If you receive Social Security, disability or veteran's benefits, for example, you will automatically receive a stimulus check. Currently, your information is not included on the Get My Payment tool. The federal government may have your information, but it's currently with a different part of the federal government such as the Social Security Administration, which is separate from the Treasury Department (which includes the IRS). 8. I have tried to enter my direct deposit information on the Get My Payment tool, but the system locked me out.
Unfortunately, this has happened to others too. There could be several reasons. Most likely, it's a security precaution. The IRS wasn't able to verify your identity, Social Security number, address or other personal information. Your best move is to try to access the Get My Payment tool the following day once the IRS updates its website.

9. My stimulus check was deposited to an old bank account, deposited in an incorrect bank account, or mailed to my old address. What do I do?
If this happened to you, you're not alone. The IRS will send you a letter within 15 days of sending your stimulus payment. The letter will include instructions on how to contact the IRS regarding this issue.

10. How do I contact the IRS to help with my stimulus check? I can't seem to reach anyone. Is there a special phone number?
Unfortunately, there is no special phone number at this time to contact the IRS about your stimulus check. The IRS has asked people not to call. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS says that services are limited as they process tax returns, issue tax refunds and send stimulus payments.

11. None of these issues apply to me. I just want my stimulus check.
Keep checking the Get My Payment tool. The IRS says its updating its website daily. The IRS also began sending paper stimulus checks this week. When will I get my stimulus check? The IRS expects to send stimulus checks according to this schedule. The IRS will send approximately 5 million paper checks per week, starting with the lowest adjusted gross income first. If you are a married/joint tax filer, your adjusted gross income is based on your combined income, not your individual income.