Haven’t received your stimulus check yet? Here are 5 reasons why
Since the American Rescue Plan was signed into law on March 11, some 127 million Americans have each received a $1,400 stimulus check. Yet millions are still looking for their third stimulus payment.
If you have not yet received payment, there are several reasons why you are still waiting. Some of them you can do something about, but most are out of your control.
While the pace seems slow, about $325 billion has been distributed so far. Also, payments are being processed, deposits are being made into accounts and debit cards and paper checks are still being sent out, the Internal Revenue Service stated last week.
If you have not received your payment, here are a few reasons that may be causing a delay.
1. You get Social Security or VA benefits.
Thirty million Americans who receive Social Security or Veterans Administration benefits or those who get Railroad Retirement benefits are still waiting for a check.
They can blame Washington’s bureaucracy.
Last week, a letter was sent from the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee to the head of the Social Security Administration demanding that the Social Security Administration share with the IRS information on who gets those benefits so that checks can be sent out to SSI, SSDI and VA recipients and those who get Railroad Retirement checks.
That transfer of information happened Thursday, clearing the way for the payments to begin to go out.
If you receive those benefits, your money should be on the way soon. Though, an exact date has not been announced. You should get the money the same way you get those monthly benefits.
2. Your bank account has changed or you are no longer at the address the IRS has for you.
If you have changed banks since you filed a tax return, there is a chance your missing check was sent to the old account. The IRS has no way of knowing the account has been changed, and the payment is automatically sent to the account number the agency has on file. The financial institution that the payment was sent to must return the money to the IRS if the account holder is no longer a customer.
The IRS will then issue a paper check or a debit card. It will come in the mail.
If you have moved since you last filed a tax return, the IRS may not have your new address. If it doesn’t, and you get your refund check by mail, the IRS would have sent that check to the old address.
If it did do that, then a second check will have to be issued, and that can take some time.
3. You didn’t file taxes in 2019 or yet in 2020.
If you don’t file taxes, are not a Social Security, VA or Railroad Retirement benefit recipient or did not sign up last year using the Non-Filers tool, then the IRS won’t know about you and how to get you a check.
You can get the benefit by filing a 2020 tax return. If you use a tax preparer software program, you can file electronically and get your payment deposited in the account you choose.
The IRS Non-Filers tool has been discontinued.
4. You are getting a check, but you are in a “batch” that hasn’t been sent out yet.
The IRS is tasked with sending out millions of direct payments and explains on its website that those payments are being sent out in “batches.”
On March 24, the second batch of payments began showing up in bank accounts. According to the agency, 37 million payments were sent out, primarily “to eligible taxpayers who filed 2019 or 2020 returns.”
Nearly 17 million direct deposit payments, nearly 15 million paper checks and 5 million prepaid debit cards were sent out in the second batch.
5. The check is in the mail. Literally.
If you get your income tax refund by mail, the IRS will be sending you your stimulus check the same way — by mail.
It will take much longer to get your check that way, as the agency has to cut checks and mail them out. The same goes for the Economic Impact Payment card, debit cards that some will get their stimulus payments on.
The agency is warning people not to throw out the debit card thinking it is junk mail.
According to the IRS website, “If you receive an Economic Impact Payment Card, it will arrive in a plain envelope from ‘Money Network Cardholder Services.’ The Visa name will appear on the front of the Card; the back of the card has the name of the issuing bank, MetaBank, N.A. Information included with the Card will explain that the card is your Economic Impact Payment Card. Please go to EIPcard.com for more information.”
How can you check on the status?
You can use the IRS tool “Get My Payment” to check on the status of your check.