This week, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) launched the "Get My Payment" tool, but some Americans attempting to track their coronavirus stimulus checks were met with a message reading, "payment status not available." The message proved to be frustrating to many, some of whom took to social media to vent, only to find that they were far from the only person impacted.
In a statement, the IRS said that the tool "is operating smoothly and effectively" and had been accessed by "more than 6.2 million taxpayers" who had successfully managed to check the status of their payment. The IRS added that 1.1 million taxpayers had been able to "successfully provide banking information, ensuring a direct deposit will be quickly sent."
Although the IRS website experienced a number of technical issues on Wednesday as Americans accessed the "Get My Payment" tool and a non-filers tool also made available, the "payment status not available" issue has persisted. A quick glimpse at social media shows people airing complaints through Thursday morning, many finding that the issue has yet to be resolved. Keep scrolling to see how social media is reacting to the frustrating message.
"'Payment Status Not Available' is just so wild," tweeted one person. "The IRS will find you if you live in Mordor, but if you try to get your [Stimulus Check] they've suddenly never heard of you."
What the fuck do you mean Payment Status Not Available?! I've been filing taxes annually since I was 17. My direct deposit information is on file with the IRS. #WheresMyCheck #stimuluspayment pic.twitter.com/1t1DHhpKz4— Jake Breidenbach (@j_breidnbach) April 15, 2020
"Another day, another 'Payment Status Not Available,' [IRS]," commented another. "Except I am eligible, I have filed (& paid) my 2018 & 2019 taxes, & I don't rely on SSI or VA benefits. I wonder when you're actually going to start answering people's questions, instead of saying 'don't call us.'"
"The IRS payment site is live, but it doesn't work," wrote one person. "I file very simple taxes and filed on time for 2018. Yet the site says 'payment status not available' and that they can't determine my eligibility at this time. So it's s–, just like everything else this administration does."
"I've filed and received this same message. I've had the same bank account information with the IRS for over 10 years," replied somebody else to the above tweet. "This government functions like a third world society."
"Me too," confirmed another responder. "But my girlfriends check was sitting in her account when we woke up this morning. So they're definitely distributing. But some people are getting screwed for some reason..."
"Filed and PAID my taxes in 2018 and 2019. Meet the criteria for the stimulus. You have my correct bank account info because you sure had no problem taking money out of my account," reacted one person. "Now I get 'Payment Status Not Available' and none of the reasons you give apply to me."
Instead of writing a check, I’m just going to print out this “Payment Status Not Available” notification and staple it to my quarterly tax estimate for June. I’m pretty sure the IRS will understand.April 16, 2020
"I'm got this message when I checked for the IRS [Stimulus Check] 'Payment status not available,' any idea what it means?" asked one person. "I already filed both 2018/2019. I tried few times and I got locked out for 24 hours."
"I am getting 'Payment Status Not Available,'" added somebody else. "But I am eligible to receive a stimulus check. The IRS has had my Direct Deposit info for years!!!"
That tweet was met with a number of responses from people experiencing similar issues. Responding, one person said that it "didn't work for us either, filed in 2018, owed/paid taxes via bank account. They won't except that, can’t check status and add bank account info because no refund last year-paid. They're assuming all got refunds!"
Another person explained that "the website said they deposited my yesterday and my bank is all 'NOPE.' I even called the bank-nothing pending. And the [IRS] isn't taking even taking live calls anymore..Hang in there."
Trying to check the status of my stimulus check only to see “payment status not available” for the 10192839th time pic.twitter.com/xgQjNhxDIY— ˗ˏˋ k y a ˊˎ˗ (@kyataylor18) April 16, 2020
Those who encountered the issue were directed to a "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQ) page. The page lists out a number of reasons as to why the user may be encountering the error message. Those reasons include not being eligible for a payment; being required to file a tax return but not having filed in tax year 2018 or 2019; having recently filed your return or provided information through Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info on IRS.gov, in which case payment status will be updated once processing is complete; and being a SSA or RRB Form 1099 recipient, SSI or VA benefit recipient, in which case the IRS says it is working with the agencies to issue payments and the information is not yet available in the app.
This payment status not available shit is some bullshit🙄😠 pic.twitter.com/jmsmRCHGxx— 🤺🥋DoloVanDam🎤🏋🏾 (@SuperDuperDOLO) April 16, 2020
Additionally, IRS spokesperson Luis Garcia said that in most instances, the message is appearing simply due to the influx of people attempting to use the tool and track their payments. Speaking with CNBC Make It, Garcia encouraged people to be patient and attempt checking back at a later time.
"What happened is instead of having an error message or a message saying the system is very busy, it just says your information isn't in here, that was the default," Garcia explained. "Just be patient, check back later. If you filed last year's or this year’s taxes we have your information."
Who else is among the dare I say millions of people who keep seeing the “Payment status not available” on the IRS website. HELP!!! I would like to see my stimulus check soon to. pic.twitter.com/ptbO7he9XX— Joey Salazar (@MrSalazar_4th) April 16, 2020
Despite the long list of reasons the IRS says could be at fault for the message, The Verge suggests that the message seems to be a "generic catch-all error for the system, instead of a useful or actionable error message." The outlet reports that the "payment status unavailable" message appears even when you enter made-up social security number, birth date, and address combination. Some Reddit users have suggested that the message is just a glitch or a sign of the site being over capacity.