Hundreds of Americans attempting to track their coronavirus stimulus checks on the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) "Get My Payment" tool have been prevented from doing so by an error message reading "payment status not available." After weeks of encountering the message, however, a new work around may have been discovered.
According to one social media user who had been experiencing the issue that so many others had been lamenting about, simply entering your address in all caps may be a solution. The user reported that after trying the method out, they were able to view the status of their payment. Others have reported that entering, for example, "Unit 2" rather than "#2" for their apartment worked.
After a couple weeks of getting the "Payment Status not Available" message on the IRS "Get My Payment" site, I just saw a tip to try entering my street address in ALL CAPS and it *worked*— 💀 damned sinker 💀 (@dansinker) April 27, 2020
The trick all caps even worked for one Fortune editor, who said that after days of encountering the error message, they were able to use the tool without issue after entering their street address in all caps. Responding to the original tipsters tweet, several other people also reported success using the all caps method.
At this time, it remains unclear if the all caps method is in fact a work around or if the new success rate comes down to the fact that the IRS made "significant enhancements" to the "Get My Payment" tool over the weekend. In a statement, the IRS said they had made enhancements "to deliver an improved and smoother experience." Those enhancements included the adjustment of "several items" related to the tool.
"We delivered Get My Payment with new capabilities that did not exist during any similar relief program, including the ability to receive direct deposit information that accelerates payments to millions of people. These further enhancements will help even more taxpayers. We urge people who haven't received a payment date yet to visit Get My Payment again for the latest information. IRS teams worked long hours to deliver Get My Payment in record time, and we will continue to make improvements to help Americans," IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said. "We encourage people to check back in and visit Get My Payment. These enhancements will help many taxpayers. By using Get My Payment now, more people will be able to get payments quickly by being able to add direct deposit information."
According to the IRS FAQ page, users may encounter the error message when they are not eligible for a payment, are required to file a tax return but haven't filed in tax year 2018 or 2019, recently filed their return or provided information through Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info tool, or they are a SSA or RRB Form 1099 recipient, SSI or VA benefit recipient.