As millions of Americans await the arrival of their $1,200 coronavirus stimulus payments, the Internal Revenue Service has rolled out an online tool called Get My Payment to help people set up direct deposit and check their checks, making the process a fast and more efficient process. As with a lot of new technology, however, there have been a number of reported problems from people who have found themselves unable to check their own information or gotten error messages while trying to log on.
While many problems can be solved just by waiting and trying again, as the app is updated just once a day, and checking your mailbox, as many people's checks will simply come in the mail, there are ways to troubleshoot some of the more common problems with Get My Payment, as compiled by CNET.
You filed with tax preparation apps
If, like millions of American, you used tax-preparation apps like Turbo Tax and H&R Block to file your 2018 or 2019 taxes, you may run into issues setting up direct deposit, The Washington Post reports. Several million people who used those tax services to file their taxes were unable to get their checks via direct deposit as the IRS did not have their information on file. The IRS and Treasury departments are aware of the problems and are working on a fix, as per the Post.
You haven't filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return
As your stimulus check eligibility is based on your 2018 or 2019 tax return information, if you have not filed tax returns for those years, you may get an online error message reading "Payment Status Not Available." If that is the case, you must fill out a new form on the IRS' website for non-filers, proving you are a U.S. citizen who qualifies for the payment. Take note that this page is different from the Get My Payment site and specifically for people who have not filed a tax return in the last two years.
Your 2019 return isn't processed
Even if you filed your 2019 tax return ahead of the original April 15 deadline, the IRS still might not have had the chance to process your return, and will not have yet been able to determine your eligibility for a stimulus payment. In that case, you'll have to simply wait for the IRS to process your return before any further stimulus check information can be released.
You don't usually file a return
If you're one of the estimated 6 million Americans not required to file a tax return due to low income, you may be having a hard time setting up direct deposit in regards to your stimulus check.
This is once again where the IRS' site for non-filers comes in, which also applies to people who receive SSA, RRB Form 1099, SSI or VA benefits. The IRS advises that if you see the message "Payment Status Not Available," your information may not have been processed into the system and you should try again later.
Your bank is struggling to keep up with online demand
If you're having trouble accessing your bank to see if your direct deposit has gone through, your bank may be struggling to keep up with the high demand online with too many customers checking their accounts at once. Some banks have reportedly had issues with their websites going down temporarily as customers rushed to check their balance, especially on the first day stimulus payments were hitting accounts.
You're temporarily locked out
If you are getting a message from the Get My Payment portal that only says, "Try again later," the simple answer is you could simply be locked out of the tool due to possibly entering incorrect information too many times. The simple answer is to wait a short period of time before trying again.
According to the IRS, "If the information you enter does not match our records multiple times, you will be locked out of Get My Payment for 24 hours for security reasons. There is no need to contact the IRS."
You're not eligible to receive a stimulus check
If you continually receive the message "Payment Status Not Available" on Get My Payment and don't have any of the other issues listed, you may not be eligible to receive a stimulus check. Reasons you may not be eligible may be that your adjusted gross income from the previous year is too high to qualify, or you might be in the specific age range that is excluded. Check the IRS website for more guidelines on who qualifies for a payment.