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For most people who are eligible for a stimulus check, the coronavirus relief payment will appear at your doorstep without you needing to complete an IRS form or otherwise request the money. As long as you meet the requirements, the agency will automatically send your payment to you. For those still waiting for their checks, the IRS even has an online tool called Get My Payment to help you get the status of your payment.
The goal of the portal is to help you get the current status of your payment, including how much money you can expect from the government — it tops out at $1,200 max, depending on your income — and when you can expect to receive it. Get My Payment can also tell you if you need to provide more information before the IRS can send your money. We should point out that the tool isn’t perfect. And while the IRS said it’s been updating the app to make it more useful, here are common problems others have run into.
We’ll explain how Get My Payment tool and how to use it to track your check. If you’re concerned about not receiving a payment, here are reasons why your check may be delayed or why it might not arrive at all. And if you’re wondering about a second round of stimulus checks, this is what we know so far. This story updates often with the latest news.
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Things to know before you begin with the Get My Payment tool
- The tool will ask for your Social Security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), your date of birth, your street address and your ZIP or postal code.
- The IRS is sending payments on a schedule. Think of it as batches of payments that get sent at once, rather than individually. The Get My Payment tool can ballpark your scheduled date.
- The IRS updates its status tracking information on who has and hasn’t received a payment once a day.
- You should receive a letter about 15 days after it issues your payment, with information on the amount you received and how you received it.
After tracking your payment status with the IRS, you might also consider signing up for the US Postal Service app that will actually notify you when your payment will arrive in the mail.
Read more: Where to buy face masks online if you don’t want to make your own
How to track the status and arrival of your stimulus check from the IRS
If you’re eligible for a check, the IRS lets you track your payment schedule through its Get My Payment web portal. Some people have reported having trouble using the portal, and the IRS said it has significantly improved the Get My Payment app to help you set up and track the date of your stimulus payment.
Stimulus Checks Helpline
1. Head to the IRS’ Get My Payment page and tap the blue Get My Payment button to check the status of your economic impact payment.
2. On the next page about authorized use, tap OK.
3. Now on the Get My Payment page, enter your SSN or ITIN, your date of birth, your street address and your ZIP or postal code. Tap Continue.
On the next page, the portal will show your payment status, whether it’s been scheduled or if the service can’t yet determine your status.
How do I know if my check is in the mail?
The IRS deadline to set up direct deposit with the government passed on May 13. If you didn’t set up your account, you’ll receive your check in the mail.
While most people will receive a paper check, the Treasury Department said 4 million people will get an Economic Impact Payment, or EIP, prepaid debit cards instead. We’ve asked the US Treasury to clarify who gets a check and who gets a debit card.
How do I know that my status information is accurate and what if I get an error message?
Unfortunately, you may see confusing messages when using the status tool — so much so that the IRS explains common status messages in an FAQ. You may get a message if it’s impossible to determine your eligibility, for example, or your payment status is not available. We’re looking into it, but so far we’ve unearthed a handful of reasons why Get My Payment may not be able to track your payment status.
You don’t need to sign up to receive stimulus money
To receive the stimulus payment, you may need to file a tax return for 2018 or 2019 if you are normally required to. You can still do that now. Here’s how.
Senior citizens, Social Security recipients, railroad retirees and other beneficiaries who typically aren’t required to file tax returns will not need to file one to receive a payment.
Again, the agency will mail a letter to a taxpayer’s last known address within 15 days after sending the payment. The letter will contain information on when and how the payment was made and how to report to the IRS if you didn’t receive your check.
For more on the stimulus checks, here’s how best to use your stimulus check. Here’s everything you need to know about the coronavirus and unemployment.