Is yourstill out there, or has it seem to have evaporated into nothing? If you’ve been expecting it and it hasn’t arrived, you may be wondering: Do I remain patient and wait to later this year, or do I reach out to the IRS for help?
Here are the basics. If you’re, but your check of is still missing, you may need to file a claim as a . Or, it may be you need to to request something called a Payment Trace and track down those funds. (You can .)
Here, we’ll explain what a Payment Trace is and the two cases when you should request one to find yourinstead of using the Recovery Rebate Credit. CNET also has guides on stimulus checks as they relate to , , , , and . And here’s what we know so far about a , including all the ways , and .
Scenario 1: The IRS Get My Payment app said your money was sent, but you never received it
If youris missing, you should first go to the free IRS online payment tracking tool called Get My Payment to find out its status. We have full instructions on . But generally, the IRS updates the tool once a day, and you’ll need to plug in your Social Security Number of Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, date of birth, street address and ZIP or postal code.
The portal will show you your payment status, if your check has been scheduled to send, and the payment method (or ) and date. You might also see a different message or an error.
You’ll need to request a Payment Trace if the Get May Payment portal shows that your payment was issued, but you haven’t received it within these timeframes:
- 5 days since the deposit date in Get my Payment and your bank says they haven’t received it
- 4 weeks since it was mailed by check to a standard address
- 6 weeks since it was mailed and you have a forwarding address on file with the local post office
- 9 weeks since it was mailed and you have a foreign address
Scenario 2: You got a letter from the IRS confirming your payment, but you didn’t get the money
About 15 days after the IRS sends your second stimulus check (by either, or ), you should get a letter from the agency confirming your payment and giving you a way to get in touch to report any problems. If you received this letter — also called Notice 1444 Your Economic Impact Payment — but you never received your payment, you’ll need to request a Payment Trace. Make sure you keep the letter, as you’ll need the information in to file your claim.
How to request a payment trace with the IRS
To request a Payment Trace, call the IRS at 800-919-9835 or mail or fax a completed Form 3911, Taxpayer Statement Regarding Refund. Find out where to mail or fax that form for your state on the IRS website.
To complete From 3911, the IRS provides the following instructions:
- Write “EIP” on the top of the form (EIP stands for Economic Impact Payment)
- Complete the form answering all refund questions as they relate to your payment
- When completing item 7 under Section 1:
- Check the box for “Individual” as the Type of return.
- Enter “2020” as the Tax Period.
- Do not write anything for the Date Filed.
- Sign the form. If you file married filing joint, both spouses must sign the form.
You should not mail Form 3911 if you’ve already requested a trace by phone. And you should not request a Payment Trace to determine if you were, or to , the IRS said.
How does the IRS process a Payment Trace request?
The IRS will do the following to process your claim, according to its website:
- If you didn’t cash the check, the IRS will issue you a replacement. If you discover the original check among your belongings, you’re expected to return it as soon as possible.
- If you did cash the refund check, expect a claim package from the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, which will include a copy of the cashed check. Then, follow the included instructions. The Bureau will review your claim and the signature on the canceled check before deciding if they’ll issue a replacement. This is presumably to guard against .
When would you receive your missing stimulus money?
You should get a response from the IRS about six weeks after the agency receives your request for a Payment Trace, according to its website. However, this could be delayed due to limited staffing.
For more on stimulus checks, check out, and all the .