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ALTHOUGH the Internal Revenue Service has sent out millions of stimulus checks to over 160 million Americans, some are still waiting for their first stimulus checks.
If you have yet to receive one or any of the three stimulus checks despite being eligible, here are some steps you can take to get the funds.
You can still get your stimulus checks if you have not yet received one or anyCredit: Getty
Track your payment status
The IRS has a handy service called the Get My Payment tool, which lets you check where along the process your payment is.
But beware, this tool works only should you be missing your third stimulus check.
It will indicate when the payment was processed and in what form you’ll receive it: check, direct deposit, or by a debit card.
Also if there’s a problem with your information, the tool will ask you to fill out information online or submit the missing information.
If you see a message displaying “Payment Status Not Available,” fret not! It likely means the payment is being processed.
If you’re missing the first or second payment, you need to find the IRS letters stating when the payments were released or deposited, or you can create an online profile with the IRS should you be unable to locate the letters.
You can track your checks using the IRS Get My Payment toolCredit: Getty
File for a Recovery Rebate Credit
Should you be unable to get a status update on the stimulus checks, there still are other options, like filing for a Recovery Rebate Credit.
Considering how the stimulus checks are essentially tax credits given in advance of your tax return, you can claim the missing checks on your tax return.
If you didn’t get the first or second payment – or you received less than the full amount that you’re eligible for – you can claim the credit on your 2020 tax returns, even if you don’t normally file.
This means you need to add up the amount of payments you did receive in order to determine the credit you would have otherwise been eligible for on your returns.
You can call your bank or tax preparer to ensure all your information is accurateCredit: SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett
Contact your bank or tax rep
If all else fails, you can correct your personal information with your bank or tax representative and have them ensure the IRS did indeed send the payments to the correct account.
Contact your bank or tax preparer to find out if there was any attempt to get those payments sent to you through direct deposit or a prepaid direct card.
Likewise, double and triple check all information you have filled out to make sure it’s correct, and as a last case scenario, contact the IRS and United States Postal Service to ensure they too have your correct information on file.
You should file a payment trace if the IRS believes it has released a payment to you but you have not yet received oneCredit: Getty
File a payment trace
If you’re still running out of luck, you can file a Payment Trace, which would let you trace your payment if you have not yet received one despite the IRS stating it had released your payment.
A payment trace works if the IRS Get My Payment tool says your stimulus was issued but you never received it, or if you got a letter from the IRS saying your payment was sent, but you still had not received it.
You can request a payment trace by calling the IRS at 800-919-9835 and by speaking with an agent or using the automated system.
You can also send a fax or mail a completed Form 3911, a Taxpayer Statement Regarding Refund form to the IRS.
The agency does note that if you filed a married joint return, you can’t start the trace through the automated system.