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No stimulus control? How and when to report a missing payment to the IRS

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You are not the only person still waiting for your stimulus check to arrive.

Angela Lang / CNET

Visit the WHO website for the latest coronavirus pandemic updates and information.

In the eight weeks since it began, the IRS has sent over 159 million financial rescue payments to eligible Americans and may have another 35 million to go (PDF). If you’re in the other group, you might be asking yourself, “Where’s mine stimulus check? “and may be wondering when to call the IRS about your missing payment.

We have information on how to check the status of your check, find out if anything is holding it back and, if necessary, how we can contact the agency for help.

At best, your money may still be on the way. In all cases, your check may also be delayed for one of several reasons. It may be that there is a problem you need to report or any other action you need to take to get yours coronavirus relief payment. We will guide you through some possibilities.

If you are worried, you may also want to sign up for a free USPS service coming Send you a picture of every entry that comes your way – including your incentive payment. (And here is the current status of one possible other stimulus control. This story is updated frequently.)

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When it’s time to notify the IRS

If you are still without your financial incentive payment, here are warning signs that you should contact the IRS right now:

  • If the Get My Payment tracking tool reports, the IRS made your payment weeks ago, and you haven’t received it.
  • If you think you accidentally threw your prepaid card or check in the trash (see below).
  • If you received a confirmation letter from the IRS that your payment was sent and you did not receive it.
  • If you suspect that someone stole your check or otherwise defrauded you.

Continue reading for more on these issues and phone numbers to call to contact the IRS.

First, make sure you are eligible for a stimulus check

Before you go any further, just make sure you meet one of the qualifications for a stimulus payment. The figures below are based on your taxes for 2018 or 2019 (depending on what you filed last). Specifically, you must know about your AGI, or adjusted gross income, which you can find on your latest 1040 federal tax form. For more questions about eligibility, like you don’t usually file taxes, we recommend that you look at ours guide to stimulus check.

You are eligible to receive a stimulus check if:

  • You are a single resident of the United States and have an AGI under $ 99,000.
  • You register as the head of a household (considered unmarried with at least one dependent) and earn less than $ 146,500.
  • You file together without children and earn under $ 198,000.
  • You are the parent of a child who is 16 years or younger.
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Is your stimulus control inside?

Sarah Tew / CNET

Did you use the IRS tracking tool, Get my payment?

After determining that you are eligible, our first suggestion is to visit the IRS online tool designed for track the status of a 2020 payment. Generally speaking, it should tell you when your check will be processed and how you will receive it (for example as a paper check in the mail). If this Get My Payment portal does not provide you with information that you understand or say your check is on the way and you have not received it, you may eventually need to report the discrepancy to the IRS (more below).

Did you see a “Need more information” message from Get My Payment?

If the Get My Payment tool gave you a payment date but you still haven’t received your money, the IRS may need more information for you. Check the Get My Payment tool again, and if it reports “Need more information”, it may indicate that your check was returned because the post office was unable to deliver it, an IRS representative told CNET.

When you see the message “Need more information”, the online tool lets you enter your bank information to get your payment directly into your bank account. The IRS said if you do not enter your bank account details, it will contain your payment until it receives a current mailing address. Go to the IRS Change of Address page to update your address with the IRS.

Did you accidentally throw your check or prepaid card?

Four million people will receive their stimulus money on a prepaid debit card called a financial debit card instead of a paper check. The EIP card arrives in a regular envelope, says the IRS, with “Money Network Cardholder Services” as the sender.

Some people who take it for spam may have mistakenly thrown these letters. If you have missed or discarded your card, the EIP card service has a FAQ on what to do if your card is lost or stolen. You can also call 800-240-8100 to request a replacement. Its free, according to a spokesman for the Ministry of Finance. When prompted to request a new card, press option 2.

However, the EIP card’s website says: “Your card will be disabled to prevent anyone from using it and a new replacement card will be ordered. Fees can apply.”

We recommend that you call the above number for a lost or stolen card and talk to a representative.

Could the IRS wait for you to submit a form?

If you filed a tax return in 2018 or 2019 or received state benefits, the IRS should automatically send your check without having to do anything.

However, if you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, had a gross income in 2019 under $ 12,200 – or $ 24,400 as a married couple – and do not file a return for 2018 or 2019, you may need to provide the IRS with some information before it can process your payment. Go to the non-filers website and see if the IRS needs anything from you.

The non-filing tool will be available until October 15, the IRS told CNET, and anyone who signs up for a payment with the tool before will receive their check at the end of the year.

IRS sent a confirmation letter, but did not receive your check?

A handful of CNET readers report that the IRS sent a letter confirming their payment but they have not received their check.

“Last week I received a letter in the mail saying I received my payment. But no, I haven’t,” reported one CNET reader after receiving the confirmation letter that the IRS sends 15 days after the payment was sent.

We asked the tax authorities how it will handle payments that the reports have been sent but that people say are missing and will update this story with the agency’s response.

Could the IRS have sent your check to a closed account?

Your check may have gone back to the tax authority if it attempted to send your payment to a now closed bank account or to a temporary prepaid debit card that a tax preparer created for you. If your payment was returned to the IRS, the agency will send your check to the current address it has for you.

Could the federal government have taken up your payment?

If you owe child support, the IRS may redirect your payment to cover overdue support. The Bureau of the Fiscal Service sends a message about this happening.

Did you only receive a portion of the amount you think you owe?

Another, but related, issue may be a change in your income in 2020. In some cases, the tax authority may owe you more money than you received if the income figures it used to calculate your payment from your tax returns 2018 or 2019 are less 2020.

Similarly, if you now have a new dependency, such as a child, which is not reflected in your tax returns, you may owe more money. In both cases, the IRS said you may claim the additional amount on your 2020 tax return when you file next year. We recommend that you keep a detailed record so that you do not forget it.

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Did anyone steal it from your mailbox or scam you in any other way?

Although it is unusual, you may think you have been deceived your payment or had it stolen. The Federal Trade Commission has a website where you can report a stolen stimulus check. We have asked the tax authorities what other uses you have if this situation applies to you.

How to contact the IRS to ask about your stimulus check

If you reach out to the IRS over the phone, it’s a good idea to give yourself plenty of time for the call. We would not be surprised if the call volumes are up or if calls take some time. It is also a smart idea to collect your information in front of you, such as a copy of your latest tax ID and the letter the IRS sent if you received one.

Within 15 days of sending the payment, the IRS will send a letter confirming the payment. At the bottom of the letter there is a number you can call for more information: 800-919-9835.

In May, the IRS added 3500 telephone representatives to help with potential payment issues. The IRS number is 800-829-1040.

We have contacted the tax authorities for more information on how to prepare us for a call to a representative.

If you are looking for additional personal financial information, we have suggestions on how to do it spend the stimulus money, how coronavirus can affect your rental payment and other ways to get financial relief during the pandemic.

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