Stimulus Checks: IRS Issues Statement on 'Payment Status Not Available' Error Message

After hundreds of Americans attempting to access the new "Get My Payment" tool to track their coronavirus stimulus checks were met with a message stating "Payment Status Not Available," the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is speaking out. In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, the IRS denied reports that the newly-launched app had “crashed” and stated that millions of Americans had already been able to check the status and provide their banking information, despite the dozens of social media users suggesting otherwise.

"The Get My Payment site is operating smoothly and effectively. As of mid-day today, more than 6.2 million taxpayers have successfully received their payment status and almost 1.1 million taxpayers have successfully provided banking information, ensuring a direct deposit will be quickly sent," the statement read. "IRS is actively monitoring site volume; if site volume gets too high, users are sent to an online ‘waiting room; for a brief wait until space becomes available, much like private sector online sites. Media reports saying the tool 'crashed' are inaccurate."

After the tool launched Wednesday, many of those attempting to access it were given an error message of "Payment Status Not Available." The message went on to explain that "according to information that we have on file, we cannot determine your eligibility for a payment at this time" and directed those encountering the message to visit the IRS FAQ page. In its statement, the IRS reiterated the information provided on that page.

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"The IRS reminds users you may receive this message for one of the following reasons," the statement read. "If you are not eligible for a payment (see IRS.gov on who is eligible and who is not eligible). If you are required to file a tax return and have not filed in tax year 2018 or 2019. If you recently filed your return or provided information through Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info on IRS.gov. Your payment status will be updated when processing is completed. If you are a SSA or RRB Form 1099 recipient, SSI or VA benefit recipient – the IRS is working with your agency to issue your payment; your information is not available in this app yet.

The statement added that people "can check the app again to see whether there has been an update to your information" and reminded taxpayers that "Get My Payment data is updated once per day, so there’s no need to check back more frequently." It ended by stating that "the IRS continues to closely monitor the situation."