Americans are hoping for a second round of stimulus checks, but some across the nation still have not received the first check. However, those need not worry. There are ways to report your missing payment to the IRS. It's no secret that there have been a number of issues since the checks first started being issued months ago. Among those issues have been some Americans simply not being sent one.
The very first thing you should do if you feel that you have not been sent a stimulus check in error is to check your eligibility. There are many people who believe they should have been sent a stimulus check but ultimately did not qualify for one reason or another. The main qualifying factors are being an individual U.S. citizen who earns less than $99,000 a year, or a married couple who jointly earn less than $198,000 a year, or an unmarried person with at least one dependent who files taxes as the head of a household and earns less than $146,500 a year.
Additionally, parents of children 16 and under are also eligible to receive $500 per child for up to three children. It is also important to note that the amount you receive will be based on your most recently filed tax return. Once you have confirmed your eligibility, there a number of other steps that may help you track down your check. Scroll down to see a list of actions, — per a previous CNET article — that you should consider while you search for your stimulus check, as well as some factors that could be affecting it.
Check the IRS "Get My Payment" Tool
Once you have determined your eligibility. the next thing you should do is check out the IRS' "Get My Payment" portal. The reason for this is that it will allow you to track your check. Some payments are still being sent, and it is possible that anyone who thinks their check is missing may just not have not had theirs processed yet.
If you check this tool and get a message that states the IRS needs "more information" from you, that could be the cause of the hold-up. In some instances, the IRS is missing some important details, such as personal details, that they need in order to process your payment. Addressing this issue could help you get your payment faster.prevnext
Forms and Letters
Another issue holding up your check could be that the IRS is waiting for you to file some other form. CNET notes that American citizens or permanent residents who had a gross income under $12,200 — or $24,400 for married couples — and did not file a tax return for 2018 or 2019, might be expected to provide more information to the IRS before the department can process the payment. There is a Non-Filers tool which will allow you to determine if the IRS needs more from you. That tool will be available until Oct. 15.
Furthermore, many Americans received a confirmation letter from the IRS about their checks, but did not actually get the check. CNET notes that one of its reader stated, "Last week I got a letter in the mail saying that I received my payment. But, no, I have not." They stated that they have reached out to the IRS about how this will handled, but have not reported a response at the time of this writing.prevnext
Closed Bank Account
When the IRS first started sending out checks, it sent payments via direct deposit to whatever bank account it had on file. If there is a chance that your missing check is due to the IRS sending the payment to a closed account, then this could explain the situation. In this case, the IRS would send a paper check or a prepaid debit card loaded with the designated amount, so keep an eye out for that.prevnext
One other issue that some have run into is their stimulus check being intercepted by the government. CNET notes that anyone who owes child support may find this is the cause of their missing check. If this happens, the Bureau of the Fiscal Service should be sending a notice to those impacted.prevnext
Lost, Thrown Out or Stolen
One of the more common causes of a missing stimulus check is that it was misplaced or accidentally thrown out. When the IRS started sending checks and prepaid debit cards to citizens, some mistook the envelopes for junk mail and threw them out. If you think that you threw out your payment, you should reach out to the IRS.
Related, if you think that your payment got lost in the mail, or was stolen out of your mailbox — or by some other means — you should definitely let the IRS know about your concerns. They may be able to cancel the previous payment method and issue a new one if they determine this to be necessary.prevnext
A completely different issue altogether is some citizens feeling as if the amount they received from their stimulus payment is lower than they believe it should be. The IRS calculates the amount that each person gets based on their most recent tax return. So, for someone who made more money in 2018 or 2019 than they did in 2020, their check may be lower based on their previously higher annual income.
This can also happen to someone who has a newborn baby they claim as a dependent in 2020. If this happens to you, the IRS can adjust the amount after you submit your next tax return. CNET notes that keeping a detailed list of these factors can better help you explain your situation to the IRS.prevnext
Contacting the IRS by Phone0comments
Finally, after you have exhausted all other options, you may have no choice but to contact the IRS directly by phone. It is important to consider that your call wait-time could be lengthy, as the department may be fielding many of these calls. You will also want to have all necessary materials available to you so that you can best provide the IRS with whatever info needed to resolve your situation.
There are two phone numbers that you can use to contact the IRS. For those who have received a stimulus check confirmation letter, but are having issues, you can call 800-919-9835. For anyone else, it is recommend that you use 800-829-1040.prev