As Americans hold out hope that a second stimulus check could still be in the cards despite the break in negotiations, millions of others still haven't received their first payment. Passed under the CARES Act, which was signed by President Donald Trump on March 27, direct payments began being distributed less than a month after the bill became law. However, as of June, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) still had to pay out between 30 million and 35 million checks and "appears to have made little progress towards issuing the remaining payments" two months later, according to a letter from House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal and Sen. Ron Wyde. If you are one of those tens of millions of Americans still awaiting your payment, you can now initiate a trace on your check, though there are a few limitations.
According to Fox Business, the IRS recommends that a trace be initiated if you fall under one or more of four different scenarios. Those circumstances include it having been five or more days since the scheduled direct deposit date for your payment or more than four weeks since a paper check was issued. The direct deposit date as well as the date on which a check was issued can be found by utilizing the Get My Payment tool on the IRS's website. A trace can also be initiated if it has been six or more weeks since the payment was mailed and you have a forwarding address on file with the local post office or more than nine weeks since it was mailed, and you have a foreign address. A trace should not be initiated in instances where you are simply seeking to determine if you are eligible for a payment, attempting to determine the sum of your payment, or are inquiring about the scheduled payment date.
To initiate a trace, you can call the IRS at 800-919-9835. This is the number for the IRS' official economic impact payment hotline, which was launched in May. When calling the hotline, you will first be greeted by an automated message that answers "most Economic Impact Payment questions." If you are still left with questions, listen to the end of the message, when those who need additional assistance will have the option to be put in contact with one of the 3,500 telephone representatives. Those calling this number should be prepared for long wait times. Those wishing to initiate a trace of their payment can also submit Form 3911, which can be accessed by clicking here.
To offer further assistance, the Taxpayer Advocate Service on Monday will begin to accept cases from individuals who are missing some of, or all of, their payment. Further information regarding this assistance can be found by clicking here.