Still Without The $1,400 Stimulus Check? It’s Time You Immediately Went For A Payment Trace

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Stimulus Check
Stimulus Check

If you haven’t got your third stimulus check up till now, maybe it is time you got in touch with the IRS and went for a payment trace. And here’s how you can decide when you need to go for it. And how to request one.

The first step is to ascertain if your stimulus payment has been naturally delayed or you need to act upon it. The authorities have sent out 165M payments till last week and there are bound to be some that won’t get through on their own. So if you are sure that a stimulus check should be coming your way, it is time you tracked it down.

Do I Deserve A Stimulus Check?

If once you have determined that you are qualified for a check, you should check if you have updated the mailing address or your bank details are in order.  A second reason to trace your check is when you have received only part of your payment. In that case, you need to amend your records. 

The rules are a bit different for filing taxes this time around. Even non-filers needed to file their 2020 tax returns to update every detail, including your latest income, the correct bank, and mailing details. You will also be able to update your list of dependents.  

Is The Time Right To Go For A Payment Trace?

The first logical step would be to log in to the Get My Payment tracker to know the status of your third stimulus check. Remember, this tracker will not help you if you have missed out on the previous stimulus checks For that, you have to file a Recovery Rebate Credit along with the 2020 returns. As the extended date passed on May 17, you have to file for an extension.

The IRS tracker doesn’t give you the amount that was sent. All it tells you is the date the payment was or will be, dispatched. You will also know the mode of payment, whether it is a direct transfer to your account or a paper check or debit card sent through the US postal service.

The normal timeline for all three stimulus checks was 5 days for direct deposits, and 4 weeks for checks or cards mailed to a standard address. If posted to a forwarded address, the waiting time is around 6 weeks, and 9 weeks if sent to an offshore address.

So if you have already waited longer than the required waiting period, look up the stimulus check-in your tracker. You have to enter the Social Security number (or your Taxpayer Identification Number), your date of birth, address, and postal code. You will get one of the following messages and here is how you can interpret them.

Payment Status

If you get the above message, it shows that your stimulus check has been processed and scheduled. You will get it on the date shown through mail or direct deposit. But you will not know the amount.

Payment Status Not Available

This message shows that the IRS is unable to show the payment status as the payment has not yet been processed. It could also indicate that you are not eligible for a payment based on the current records.

Need More Information

The third message could indicate that your return was processed. But your payment could not be issued as the IRS doesn’t have your bank details. But it could also mean that your stimulus check was returned as the US postal service was unable to deliver it.

The Notice 1444-C From The IRS

Stimulus Check
Stimulus Check

The IRS sends a letter around 15 days after you receive your stimulus check. If you have got your letter but missed out on the stimulus check, you need to immediately file a trace.

Retain the letter, as it is the official record of your payment and you will need it for a payment trace.

Filing For A Payment Trace

To file a trace, you will have to fax or mail Form 3911, Taxpayer Statement Regarding Refund.

If your check wasn’t cashed, the IRS will send a replacement check once the original gets canceled.

The process gets a bit complicated if the original check was cashed. It indicates fraud and the Bureau of Fiscal Services will investigate the claim and determine its authenticity.

The following information is important for completing your Form 3911. You need to write ‘EIP3’ on the form.

Form Section 1 of Item 7, the Type of Return should be entered as ‘Individual.’

The Tax Period is 2021. Ignore the Date Filed column.

When you are filing jointly, even your spouse must sign.

You can also call the IRS at 800-919-9835.

If you have already called up and asked for a trace, you shouldn’t mail Form 3911.

A trace should also not be used to determine your eligibility for a stimulus check or indorse the amount due to you.

What Steps Will The IRS Take To Trace Your Missing Check Request?

Stimulus Check
Stimulus Check

The authorities will issue another check if the original one is missing but hasn’t been cashed. You should return the original check if you receive it at a later date.

If the check was cashed, you will get a duplicate of your cashed check and a claim package from the BFC. The agency will check the claim and your signature to check for fraud before issuing a replacement within 6 weeks.

How Long Will It Take To Get My Stimulus Check?

The IRS has declared that it will take at least 6 weeks for the agency to verify after it gets your request through a trace. But the process may in reality get delayed as the IRS has been vastly under-staffed due to the pandemic.

A Few Details That You Should Know Of The Third Stimulus Check

The Economic Impact Payment or the stimulus check will be sent automatically for most people eligible for it. So contacting either the IRS or any financial institution will not hasten the process.

People receive social security benefits and other federal beneficiaries will get their check in the same way as they receive their regular benefits.

The calculations are based on the last return. So if you haven’t filed your 2020 returns, your payment will be calculated on the 2019 tax returns.

The third stimulus check is larger than the previous checks. Each member could add up to $1,400 to the total amount. This payment is not limited to children below 17. All qualifying dependents will get an equivalent amount up to the maximum of $1,400. The eligible list of dependents includes adults with disabilities, college-going students, parents, and grandparents. Payments after March 24 have been sent through the postal service as a paper check or an EIP card. The IRS stopped direct bank deposits after that date.