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Sunday, October 1, 2023

Stimulus Check Delay: It’s Time You Act Immediately!

The IRS continues to send out stimulus checks every week.. more than $1 billion went out last week. And many have received a follow-up payment, the plus-up check. But if you are among those yet to receive their stimulus check, you need to first know the reasons for the delay and then take steps to rectify it.

There are many reasons your check may have been delayed or even not dispatched. You might have not given the correct address to the IRS, or you may have failed to file the 2020 returns that could have made you eligible for a stimulus check. Whatever be the reason you would first need to identify the cause and then set about rectifying it.

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Get The Get My Payment Tracker For Tracing Your Stimulus Check

The IRS online portal should be your first port of call to get your stimulus check. It will not tell you the amount that has been sent to you or will be. But you will know the date your payment was sent or has been scheduled, and also the mode of payment. You would need to interpret the three different messages that you will get when you log in to the tracker.

Using The Tracker To Know The Amount And Status Of Your Stimulus Check

You will see any one of these three messages when you use the Get, My  Payment tracker.

The first is ‘Payment Status’. This message indicates that your stimulus check is on schedule and will be dispatched on the date displayed. It will either be through direct deposit or the postal service. You will receive a prepaid debit card or a paper check in your mail. You won’t know the amount, though.

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This message could also indicate that though you are eligible, your payment is yet to be processed and so the payment date is also not available.

The second message is ‘Payment Status Not Available. This message indicates that your payment has not been processed yet, or, as per the records available to the IRS, you are not eligible for a stimulus check.

The third message “Need More Information’ shows that your return has been processed. The IRS doesn’t have any account information and your payment has not been issued. The message could also mean that the US postal service was unable to deliver the third Economic Impact Payment and the check has been returned to the IRS.

There are a couple of important things to note. If you have received a plus-up payment after you filed your 2020 returns, only the details of your second payment will be shown in the tracker.

Rectifying Direct Deposit Issues With The Bank

Stimulus Checks
Stimulus Money

You can add direct deposit information through the Get My Payment tracker only if your check is returned by the US postal service. If your stimulus check was returned because the IRS did not have the correct bank details, they will resend your stimulus check through the postal service.

But if your mail has been returned, and the IRS does have your banking details in their records, you can enter the information in your tracker.

If your mail has been resent through the mail, you can avail of the postal service free tool to keep track of your debit card or paper check.

The Possibility Of Garnishment

For the third stimulus check, only private debt collectors are allowed to garnish your payment. You may be notified either by your bank or the Bureau of the Fiscal Service.

You can approach your bank for suggestions on ways to stop the garnishment at a local court.

Notice 1444-C: Its Importance In Retrieving A Missing Stimulus Check

The IRS sends a letter to every beneficiary of the Economic Impact Payment. You should get it 15 days after the payment is sent. This is the only official document to prove that a stimulus check was sent to you. If you receive this letter but have received your stimulus check, it will serve as a valuable document for future claims.

The document will also be needed for filing your 2021 returns next year.

When Should You File A Payment Trace For A Missing Stimulus Check?

stimulus check
stimulus check

You should receive your stimulus check within a particular period. It is around 5 days for a direct deposit into your bank account. For a snail mail, it can vary between 4 and 6 weeks, the second for forwarded mails. For a foreign address, it could take up to 9 weeks.

So if your check was sent, and confirmed through the tracker, you should file a payment trace through the two methods allowed. You can either call up at 800-919-9835 and connect to an agent. Or complete Form 3911 (Taxpayer Statement Regarding Refund), and fax or mail it.

There are certain important points to note. You need to mark EIP3 on the form and answer the refund questions that relate to the payment.

Form section 1, item 7, enter Type of Returns as ‘Individual’. The Tax Period should be entered as 2021. Do not enter the date. Do not fail to sign. If you are filing jointly with your spouse, both need to sign on the form.

The IRS responds around 6 weeks after you file a payment trace. But the process is being delayed due to a shortage of staff.

Are There Any Other Payments Coming Though In 2021?

The third stimulus checks have reached almost most households and most have admitted that they have almost used up the amount. There has been no indication that Americans might expect a fourth stimulus check-in 2021 at least. But the unemployment benefits have been extended and are expected to continue till September 6, 2021. The federal unemployment check should bring in $300 per week to unemployed workers.

The Child Tax Credit

This is the closest thing to a stimulus check that we should be expecting from the government at least for this year. The child tax credit is normally a payment against tax returns filed. But it is being given as an advance payment through monthly payments between July and September 2021 through a monthly payment.

The child tax credit check should bring it up to $300 per child every month if the child is below 6. For children aged between 6 and 17, the amount should come to $250 per child per month. The total amount being given is $3,600 for children below 6 and $3,000 for children aged between 6 and 17.

The monthly advance against the child tax credit will bring in 50% of the amount. The rest will be given against the 2021 tax returns to be filed in tax season 2022.

Individuals earning under $75,000 will get the full CTC amount. For a married couple filing jointly, the full credit will be available if you make $150,000 or less.

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