Wait You Might Be Getting A Paper Check
GettyCovid-19 stimulus checks havent arrived for all.
We know that might not be the answer youre seeking. But you may just have to wait. Its possible that, for multiple reasons, the IRS might be mailing you a check instead of using direct deposit. If youve fallen into that category, it could take several months to receive your check. Paper checks didnt even start going out until late April, according to The Chicago Tribune. In addition, the IRS is sending checks to those with lowest income first. Its also possible you didnt provide the IRS with the basic information the agency needs to send your check.
As of May 6, the IRS had already sent out 130 million stimulus checks but was still expected to send out millions more, The Associated Press reports.
The #IRS Get My Payment tool is operating at record volumes. So far, 9.8M people got an Economic Impact Payment status and 1.6M provided direct deposit info. In some situations, the app responds: Status Not Available. Learn what this means at
If you filed your 2019 tax returns late, the IRS might still be processing it, which is simply delaying your check, according to Money. If you didnt file a 2019 return, the IRS is using 2018.
How Can I Check The Status Of My Stimulus Check
Follow these steps to check the status of your stimulus money:
2. Provide the following information:
Social security number or individual tax ID number
Your date of birth
Your street address
Note: if you recently moved, use the same information the IRS would have on file from your last tax return
Your 5 digit zip code
3. Hit the continue button for an update on your status
How To Claim A Missing Payment
You may be eligible to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 or 2021 federal tax return if you didn’t get an Economic Impact Payment or got less than the full amount.
It is important to understand that the Economic Impact Payments applied to different tax years. Depending on whether you missed the first, second or third payment, you will need to file either a 2020 or 2021 tax return to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit.
Recommended Reading: When Will People On Ssdi Get Their Stimulus Check
The Money Was Deposited Into The Wrong Account
As with the first two rounds of stimulus money, there have been reports with this round of money being deposited into the wrong bank accounts. If you have outdated banking information on file with the IRS, or if a clerical error caused your last stimulus payment to be deposited to the wrong account, you could be facing a delay due to the money being deposited into the wrong account.
Same goes if you recently switched bank accounts. If you recently changed banks, the IRS won’t have your updated banking information on file. And, as of right now, there is no way to change what’s on file, so you’re in for a wait in this situation too.
What Is A Recovery Rebate Credit
The IRS has lots of different rules, regulations and terms that make things confusing for filers, but pay no attention to the man behind the curtain: The Recovery Rebate Credit is simply just another name for your stimulus check. And if you were one of the lucky Americans who received two EIPs with no problems, you technically just received an advance of that Recovery Rebate Credit.
Americans can claim that credit by filling out a new, special section on their 2020 Form 1040 or 1040-SR if theyre a senior. That also goes for taxpayers who normally dont have to file a tax return, according to the IRS.
But rest assured: Receiving a stimulus check wont come back to bite you. The IRS says that the credit will only increase the amount you receive as a tax refund or decrease the amount you owe, rather than subtract from the refund youre entitled to. Your stimulus check also isnt considered taxable income.
Recommended Reading: How Do I Get The Second Stimulus Check
You Dont Qualify For A Stimulus Check
Like the first stimulus check and second stimulus check, not everyone qualifies for an Economic Impact Payment. Here is the adjusted gross income threshold for the third stimulus check to get the full $1,400 stimulus payment :
Head of Household: $112,500
If your adjusted gross income is higher than these amounts, you wont get any stimulus payment:
How To Claim Your Recovery Rebate Credit
If you never received your third stimulus check, you can still get your funds. Rather than free money, this check was actually an advance on a tax credit called the Recovery Rebate Credit. People who received the third stimulus check arent eligible to receive the credit on their taxes. If you have never received your third stimulus check, however, you may be able to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on your taxes. Similarly, many parents received advance payments on their Child Tax Credit throughout 2021.
If you didnt get your check by the time youre ready to file taxes for 2021 in 2022, you could claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit on your taxes. The IRS stopped issuing the third stimulus check in December 2021. Keep in mind that filing for the tax credit doesnt automatically mean youll get an extra $1,400 in your refund. Rather, the tax credit reduces your taxable income by the number of dollars the credit is worth. If you were eligible for $2,800 in third stimulus payments and your taxable income was $50,000, for example, you could subtract the $2,800 from the $50,000 to be taxed on $47,200 instead.
Although its not the same as getting a check, it has a similar financial impact to putting the amount of the check back in your pocket. The reduction in taxable income lowers the amount of taxes youll owe. If you owe money on your taxes, youll owe less by claiming the rebate credit. If you receive a refund, itll become higher.
You May Like: Stimulus Check For Social Security
You Didnt File A Tax Return
If you are required to file a tax return, then income eligibility for the third stimulus check is based off your adjusted gross income from 2019 or 2020. That said, not everyone is required to file a tax return . If you didnt file a tax return in these years or use the IRS Non-Filers tool, then the IRS may not have your income information to determine your eligibility to get a stimulus check.
What Does Need More Information Mean
Others may see a “need more information” message, which the tax agency said means the payment was returned to the IRS because the U.S. Postal Service wasn’t able to deliver the check. In that case, people can use the “Get My Payment” site to provide the IRS with bank information but the tax agency said that only people who get the “need more information” message will be able to add their bank information to the portal.
Recommended Reading: $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Breakdown
Your Adjusted Gross Income Is Too High
There are three dollar figures to be aware of in terms of the stimulus payments: $1,200 will be given to individual taxpayers, $2,400 will go to married couples filing jointly, and families will receive an additional $500 per qualifying child under the age of 17. Those numbers only apply to certain incomes, though. Individuals with adjusted gross income up to $75,000, married couples filing jointly with AGI up to $150,000 and heads of households with AGI up to $112,500 will receive the full amount of stimulus payments. Keep in mind that AGI will be based on your 2019 tax return, or 2018 if you havent filed yet.
Groups that make more than those AGI figures, however, start falling into the phase out category, which means the stimulus amount granted goes down as AGI goes up. Individuals and households will be paid $5 less per every $100 they make over the limits. The total phase out amounts, meaning the AGI is too much to qualify for a stimulus check, are $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for married couples filing jointly, or $136,500 for heads of households.
To give you an idea of how the phase out works, here are estimates of stimulus amounts for different filing statuses and income amounts. Keep in mind that each qualifying child under the age of 17 will add an additional $500 to these stimulus amounts. The payment for children begins to phase out , after the payment to adults has completely phased out.
Is The Stimulus Money Taxable
Some people are concerned that they’ll pay income taxes on the stimulus payouts, but they won’t. The first and second round of stimulus cash will not be treated as taxable income.
Another plus: Those taxpayers who received the correct amount of stimulus last year for the first round and this year for the second do not have to deal with completing the recovery credit on the 2020 tax return.
When it comes to getting paperwork ready, you’ll want to dig up the IRS Notice 1444 for the stimulus payment amount you were issued in 2020. And the second round of payments would be outlined in Notice 1444-B.
The Recovery Rebate Credit would be reduced by any Economic Impact Payment that you’ve already received. You’d use a recovery credit worksheet to figure out the credit amount.
First figure out if you’re eligible. You cannot tap into the Recovery Rebate Credit if you are claimed as a dependent on someone elses tax return, for example.
Income limits do apply to the credit. Eligibility for the payments starts to phase out at adjusted gross incomes of $75,000 for single filers and $150,000 for joint filers.
The stimulus payment is cut by $5 for every $100 of income earned above the thresholds. For example, a couple earning more than $174,000 won’t get a second stimulus payment that compares with the $198,000 cutoff with the first higher payments that started out at $2,400 for married couples with no children.
You May Like: Have Not Received Second Stimulus
How To Track Your Stimulus Payment
The good news is that in many cases, the third stimulus payment may still be on the way if you haven’t received it yet. If you’re still waiting on your money, you can keep an eye on the mail for a paper check or prepaid debit card.
If you want to see what’s landing in your mailbox before the mailman arrives, you can use the USPS Informed Delivery system tool to keep an eye on any paper checks or debit cards headed your way.
You can also track your payment through the IRS’s Get My Payment tool. This tool gives you information on whether you’re in line to receive a stimulus payment. If you are, the tool will tell you how and when it will be sent to you.
What To Do If The Irs ‘needs More Information’
If the Get My Payment tool gave you a payment date but you still haven’t received your money, the IRS may need more information. Check the Get My Payment tool again and if it reports “Need More Information,” this could indicate that your check has been returned because the post office was unable to deliver it, an IRS representative told CNET. Here are more details on how the tracker tool works and what the messages mean.
You May Like: How Much Is Next Stimulus Check
Check The Get My Payment Tool
The IRS website has been uploading data for your third stimulus payment into a tool on its website called Get My Payment. If your information has been updated, you’ll be able to see the date you can expect to receive your stimulus payment, or the date it was deposited or mailed. You should also be able to see whether your money was direct deposited or whether you’ll be receiving the payment by mail.
Many people are seeing a message that says either the IRS doesn’t have enough information yet or you aren’t eligible for the payment. This message doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t eligible for the payment. This information may be updated this coming weekend.
Here are some of the issues people are seeing, either with their actual deposit or with the Get My Payment tool.
Requesting A Filing Extension
If you’re unable to file a 2021 tax return by the April 18 deadline , there’s an easy way to buy some more time. Simply request an automatic six-month extension to file your return. That will give you until October 17 to submit your Form 1040 but you’ll still have to pay any tax that you expect to owe by April 18.
To get a filing extension, either submit Form 4868 or make an electronic tax payment to the IRS before the tax return filing deadline. There are also special rules that apply to Americans living abroad and people serving in a combat zone. See How to Get More Time to File Your Tax Return for more information about federal tax filing extensions.
If you’re getting an extension for your federal tax return, you might want to get one for your state tax return, too . Check with your state’s tax agency for information about state tax return filing extensions.
Read Also: Do Inmates Get A Stimulus Check
What To Do If One Of The Three Stimulus Checks Hasn’t Arrived
About 15 days after the IRS sends out your check, you should receive a letter from the agency confirming the payment. When the first round of stimulus checks went out last year, that letter included two hotline phone numbers because thousands of agents were available to help. But with the second and third rounds of checks, the IRS changed its tune, and these phone numbers may be disconnected.
Here are common scenarios that might indicate you need to look into your stimulus payment:
- If you’re one of the millions of people who qualified for the first stimulus check but never got it.
- If your second stimulus check has still not arrived.
- If you got a letter from the IRS saying your third check was sent, but never received the payment. Or, if the IRS Get My Payment portal said your payment was sent, but you didn’t get it.
- If you got some of your stimulus money from any payment, but not all of it.
You should also confirm you’re qualified to get the stimulus payment, since not everyone who received a previous check is qualified this time. If you think it’s time to take action, read for more options.
Your Payment Hasn’t Been Sent Out Yet
The third round of stimulus checks is being sent out in batches, and as with other rounds of stimulus payments, payments made via direct deposit to bank accounts on file with the IRS are prioritized. That said, the IRS has also been mailing out paper checks and debit cards with each batch of direct deposit payments, and it will continue to mail them out in the coming weeks.
If your bank account information was not on file with the IRS, chances are good that you’re going to have to wait slightly longer to receive a paper check or prepaid debit card, which will have to be processed through USPS before it hits your mailbox. This can add significant delays to the time it takes to receive your payment.
You May Like: Is There A Second Stimulus Check
Eligibility For A ‘plus
Because of the overlap with tax season 2020, many people may receive some, but not all, of their allotted amount. If your income changed in 2020, in some cases, the IRS may owe you more money than you received if the income figure used to calculate your payment from your tax returns in 2018 or 2019 is less in 2020. Likewise, if you now have a new dependent, such as a new baby, you may be owed more money.
The IRS is automatically sending “plus-up payments” to make up the difference. If you don’t get one, you may need to claim the missing money another way later in 2021 or even in 2022, since tax season is officially over now.
Youre A College Student
One major caveat of the stimulus checks are that anyone categorized as a dependent wont qualify for payment. This will force many college students to be determined as ineligible for a stimulus check.
Who is a dependent? By law, a child under the age of 19 at the end of the year, who lives with you for more than half of the year and has not provided more than half of his or her own support for the year, qualifies as your dependent, so long as he or she doesnt file a joint return for the year. But a full time student under the age of 24 is also your dependent, even if they live mostly at college-if you provide more than half their support and they arent married and filing a joint return.
Some might think that they can get around this no-stimulus-for-dependents over 17 provision by asking their parents not to claim them on their taxes, if they havent already. No dice. As long as a student is a dependent under the legal definition in the law, they still wont qualify for a stimulus check, even if their parents dont actually claim them.
If the student falls out of the legal definition of a dependent, they should consider filing a tax return with the IRS even if they have no taxable income to be eligible for a stimulus check.
Recommended Reading: How To Get A Replacement Stimulus Check