Since the start of April, the rollout of stimulus checks has not been without its fair share of issues for millions of Americans — especially as news of a second payment is making its way to U.S. households in just weeks. Somewhere between 30 and 35 million Americans are still awaiting the relief of payment, despite more than 160 million checks already been sent out, per Marketwatch. The stimulus checks came as part of the CARES Act, a $2 trillion bill signed into effect back in March. They allotted a one-time payment of $1,200 to U.S. citizens, $2,400 for couples and $500 for each dependent claimed.
It was also part of a much larger goal to help keep the economy afloat during widespread industry shutdowns that were put in place to help slow the spread of coronavirus. However, the payments were handled by the IRS and became problematic almost immediately. Direct deposits were going into the wrong accounts, paper checks weren't making it to their addresses, and few people seemed to find help thanks to the Get My Payment portal on the agency's website.
While there have been improved efforts to help would-be recipients track their payments, some may fall outside of the perimeters or missed some deadlines. Here's a look at what to keep in mind if that stimulus check never showed up, per the House Committee on Ways and Means.
According to the House committee's report, the IRS has "an estimated 10 million pieces of mail to open and process, including 4.7 million tax returns." It points out that some of these returns would be from first-time filers, which could delay the payments significantly.prevnext
Update Your Account Information
The stimulus checks are automatically sent via direct deposit, but only if recipients elected to have their returns filed online in 2018 or 2019. Similarly, the paper checks will be sent to the last address on file. To update any information, visit the Get My Payment tool.prevnext
Sign Up for a Bank Account
The payments could be delayed for those who are among the 14 million Americans who don't have a bank account. For anyone uneasy about opening a new bank account, there are a few other options that can be used to obtain the payments.prevnext
Earning Above the Threshold
There isn't a minimum income threshold to qualify for a stimulus check. However, anyone earning $99,000 annually, $198,000 as a couple, or above that won't qualify.prevnext
Contact the IRS
After issues with Get My Payment portal, the IRS eventually hired on some extra help to provide phone support for those with questions about their stimulus payments. The IRS Economic Impact Payment line can be reached at 800-919-9835.prevnext
Given these delays, it's possible that some stimulus checks won't arrive until the end of 2020, or possibly early 2021. The best bet is still trying to reach out the IRS directly, or making sure the most relevant info is entered into the Get My Payment tool.prev