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Saturday, May 15, 2021

Waiting For Your Stimulus Check? Here’s How You Can Track And Recover Your $1,400

The stimulus check started coming in for many Americans in the second week of March 2021. But many are still to get their stimulus payments under the American Rescue Plan. Many households continue to reel under the impact of the economic downturn brought about by the pandemic.

The IRS has sent out around 163M payments under the Economic Impact Payments. The total value stands at around $384B, as revealed by the agency. 2M payments have gone out in the latest round with April 28 being the official date. Of these 1.1M payments are through direct deposit and 850,000 are paper checks.

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So you should be getting your payment by Wednesday if it is through a direct deposit. If you receive your stimulus check through the mail it should take at least a couple of weeks. The payments through the US Postal Service will be either through preloaded debit cards or paper checks.

If you are still awaiting your stimulus check you would be anxious to know about the status. People who receive Social Security benefits do not file returns and many are yet to receive their payments. If you file regular tax returns you were among the first to get their stimulus check.

Such payments reached early through direct deposit into individual accounts. The IRS had all the details and so could process and despatch payment earlier.

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The IRS sent payments to Social Security recipients and veterans in the first and second week of April. Such payments were held back due to delays in receiving details from the respective authorities possessing their records.  

The Plus-Up Payments To The Stimulus Check

Stimulus check
Stimulus check

You may have also received a plus-up payment. These are catch-up payments after the initial stimulus check. These payments were necessary to compensate those who were owed more money.

If you have filed their tax returns for 2020 after the initial stimulus check was dispatched, you are entitled to such plus-up payments for several reasons. The birth of a child in 2020 entitles you to an additional $1,400. You will also get a separate amount for your child as Child Tax Rebate. It was initially a rebate for tax filers but is also applicable now for non-filers.

Track Your Stimulus Check

The IRS ‘Get My Payment’ tool was set up to help Americans track their stimulus payments. This tool was reopened for the third rescue plan. It makes it easier to track your payment. It doesn’t tell you the amount of the stimulus check. But it does inform you if the payment is under process.

You also can know your payment dispatch date and the mode of payment. It could be through direct deposit, paper check, pre-loaded debit card, or EIP cards. You also get to know if you are eligible for the payments even though they might not have been dispatched yet.

What Does The ‘Payment Status Not Available’ Mean?

If you receive a ‘Payment Status Not Available’ message in the tracker, it could mean either of two things. Your check is yet to be processed by the IRS. Or you are not eligible for any payment based on the information available with the IRS.

The ‘Need More Information Message

Receiving this message indicates that your stimulus check was sent back to the authorities by the US Postal Service as they were unable to locate your present address. If you have received such a message, you should immediately provide the necessary bank information so that the check can be processed earlier. You can update your bank details on the tracker only if you receive the message from the authorities.

Logging Into The ‘Get My Payment’ Site

You can log into the site by providing your Social Security number, date of birth, and the recorded address. You might also need to provide security answers to log in to the account. If you don’t provide the correct details, you will be locked out for 24 hours.

Contacting the assistants won’t help in this matter.

Informing The IRS Of A Change In Mailing Address

Stimulus check
Stimulus check

An address change could mean that you could miss out on your stimulus check if it arrives by mail. Many families moved after the imposition of the lockdown and later. The ‘get my payment’ tracker doesn’t let you update your address. The quickest way to send this piece of information to the authorities would be to file your tax returns for 2020. The filing gives crucial bits of information to the IRS and helps them to give out the check.

But as the May 17 deadline looms for filing your tax returns, many individuals and families are yet to file their returns. If if they do so immediately, the IRS will not have time to process their returns and update the information before sending out their stimulus check.

Such filers will have to wait for a plus-up payment to get the right amount. And if the payments cannot be handed over to the payees, they will get returned to the IRS. The site will display a ‘need more information message. You can then enter the direct deposit info or request for your stimulus payment to be mailed to your new address.

Reloading A Pre-Paid Debit Card

Many Americans received the first and second stimulus check through a pre-loaded card. But this process will not be repeated for the $1,400 third stimulus payment.

The IRS will send your payment through direct deposit if it has your bank details. If not you will receive your stimulus check through the US postal service in the form of a paper check or a pre-loaded debit card.

You must recognize the mail sent by the IRS in your mailbox. The return address on the white envelope is ‘Economic Impact Payment Card.’ There is also a seal of the Treasury Department. The card has ‘Visa’ written on the bank and Metabank at the back. Metabank is the bank issuing all their cards. for all prepaid debit cards.

Giving The IRS The Correct Bank Account

You are not allowed to change the address in the records of the IRS unless you receive the ‘Need More Information message on the IRS site. The IRS got the present address from 2019 or 2020 tax returns. It also received it through the ‘Geet My Payment’ site in use for the first stimulus payment, or with the ‘Non-filer’ portal.

It also contacted the veteran affairs and the social security administrators for information. In case the IRS cannot get the right details, your payment will only be delayed. The IRS has assured that they will mail all payments that are returned to it.

Getting The Right Amount In Your Stimulus Check

In case you do not get the right amount in your stimulus check, you will have to first check the source of the information based on which the IRS has sent your stimulus payment.

If you have filed your 2020 tax returns late, the authorities will have sent your payment based on the previous return. So you can expect a catch-up payment to make up for it.

Make sure you include all the details including the number of your dependents, your income, and all other relevant financial details to get the correct amount. Your stimulus check amount will be based on your Adjusted Gross Income. For individuals, the maximum income for receiving the full $1,400 per individual is $75,000. The stimulus checks phase-out and if you earn more than $80,000, you receive nothing. The corresponding figures for Heads of Households are $112,500 and $120,000. For married couples filing jointly, the figures are $150,000 and $160,000.

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