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What if your stimulus control doesn’t show up? Here’s what to do



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What is the right way to report a missing stimulus check to the IRS? We tell you.

Angela Lang / CNET

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You suspect your IRS stimulus control is lost in the mail. Or do you wonder if the government tried to deposit your payment into a closed bank account. Or worse, you have a sigh that you mistakenly threw it in the trash. If you are sure that your payment is missing, not placed or just gone, it may be time to report the matter.

We have listed two IRS phone numbers below to help you get in touch. But before using them, Make sure it’s really the right time to call. In other words, consider the IRS as a last resort. We guide you through scenarios that guarantee you reach out, other possible reasons your check may be delayed and what kind of information you should have in hand before you call.

Read on for suggestions on what to do if your payment never arrives. Then brush up how much money an extra stimulus check can give, when the extra payment could come and which may be eligible for a second payment. This story is updated frequently.






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Report your late stimulus check to the IRS if …

Here are warning signs that you should contact the IRS right now:

  • The Get My Payment tracking tool reports that the IRS made your payment weeks ago and you haven’t received it (see below).
  • You received a confirmation letter from the IRS stating that your payment was sent but that you did not receive the money.
  • You think you accidentally threw your prepaid card or checked the trash (see below).
  • You suspect someone stole your check or otherwise defrauded you.

Continue reading for more on these issues and that phone numbers can call to contact the IRS.

Double check that you meet the qualifications for a stimulus check

Before you go any further, just be sure that you meet one of the qualifications for a stimulus payment. The figures below are based on your taxes for 2018 or 2019 (depending on what you filed last). Specifically, you need to know your AGI, or adjusted gross income, that you can find on your latest 1040 federal tax form. For more questions about eligibility, like you don’t usually file taxes, we recommend that you look at ours guide to stimulus check.

You are eligible to receive a stimulus check if you:

  • Is a single resident of the United States and has an AGI under $ 99,000.
  • Register as head of a household (considered unmarried with at least one dependent) and earn less than $ 146,500.
  • Register together without children and earn under $ 198,000.
  • Is the parent of a child who is 16 years or younger.
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Is your stimulus control inside?

Sarah Tew / CNET

Did you use the IRS Get My Payment tracking portal?

In early June, the federal government was estimated to have 35 million payments (PDF) before it stopped sending the last wave of checks to eligible Americans. At best – and quite likely – your money can still be on the way and there is a tool to help you find out.

Once you have determined that you are eligible, our first suggestion is to visit the IRS online portal designed for track the status of your 2020 payment. Generally speaking, it should tell you when your check will be processed and how you will receive it (for example as a paper check in the mail). If the Get My Payment tool doesn’t give you information that you can understand or say your check is on the way and you haven’t received it, you may eventually need to report the discrepancy to the IRS (more below).

Did you receive a “Need More Information” message from the Get My Payment app?

If the Get My Payment tool provided you with a payment date but you still haven’t received your money, the IRS may need more information. Check the Get My Payment tool again and if it reports “Need more information”, this may indicate that your check has been returned because the post office was unable to deliver it, an IRS representative told CNET.

When you see the message “Need more information”, the online tool lets you enter your bank information to get your payment directly into your bank account. The IRS said if you do not enter your bank account details, the agency will hold your payment until it receives a current mailing address. Go to the IRS Change of Address page to update your address with the IRS.

Can you accidentally throw your check or debit card in the trash?

Four million people will receive their stimulus money on a prepaid debit card called a financial debit card instead of a paper check. The EIP card arrives in a regular envelope, says the IRS, with “Money Network Cardholder Services” as the sender.

Some people who take it for spam may have mistakenly thrown these letters. If you have missed or discarded your card, the EIP card service has a FAQ on what to do if your card is lost or stolen. You can also call 800-240-8100 to request a replacement. It’s free, according to a finance ministry spokesman. To request a new card, press option 2 when prompted.

However, the EIP card’s website says “Your card will be disabled to prevent anyone from using it and a new replacement card will be ordered. Fees may apply.”

We recommend that you call the above number for a lost or stolen card and talk to a representative.

Is the IRS waiting for you to submit another form?

If you filed a tax return in 2018 or 2019 or receive state benefits, the IRS should automatically send your check without having to do anything.

However, if you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, had a gross income in 2019 under $ 12,200 – or $ 24,400 as a married couple – and do not file a return for 2018 or 2019, you may need to provide the IRS with some information before it can process your payment. Go to the non-filers website and see if the IRS needs anything from you.

The non-filter tool will be available until October 15, the IRS told CNET, and people who sign up for a payment with the tool before will receive their check at the end of the year.

Did you get your IRS confirmation letter, but not the check?

A handful of CNET readers report that the IRS sent a letter confirming their payment but they have not received their check.

“Last week I received a letter in the mail saying I received my payment. But no, I haven’t,” reported one CNET reader after receiving the confirmation letter that the IRS sends 15 days after the payment was sent.

We asked the tax authority how it will handle payments that have been reported but that people say are missing and will update this story with the agency’s response.

Did the IRS send your check to a closed account?

Your check may have gone back to the tax authority if the agency tried to send your payment to a now closed bank account or to a temporary prepaid debit card that a tax preparer created for you. If your payment was returned to the IRS, the agency will send your check to the current address it has for you.

Did the federal government catch your payment?

If you owe child support, the IRS may redirect your payment to cover overdue support. The Bureau of the Fiscal Service sends a message about this happening.

Was your payment part of what you think you owe?

Another, but related, issue may be a change in your income in 2020. In some cases, the tax authority may owe you more money than you received if the income figure used to calculate your payment from your tax returns in 2018 or 2019 is less in 2020.

Similarly, if you now have a new dependency, such as a child, which is not reflected in your tax returns, you may be owed more money. In both cases, the IRS said, you can claim the additional amount on your 2020 tax return when you file next year. We recommend that you keep a detailed record so that you do not forget it.






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Stimulus controls Helpline




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Did someone steal it from your mailbox or scam?

Although unusual, you may think you have been deceived your payment or had it stolen. The Federal Trade Commission has a website where you can report a stolen stimulus check. We have asked the tax authorities what other uses you have if this situation applies to you and we will update this article when we hear back. If you are concerned about theft, you can sign up for a free USPS service that will Send you a picture of every entry that comes your way – including your incentive payment.

How to call the IRS to inquire about your late stimulus check

If you reach out to the IRS over the phone, it’s a good idea to give yourself plenty of time for the call. We would not be surprised if the call volume is up or if calls take some time. It is also a smart idea to collect your information in front of you, such as a copy of your latest tax ID and the letter the IRS sent if you received one.

Within 15 days of the payment being sent, the IRS will send a letter confirming the payment. At the bottom of the letter there is a number you can call for more information: 800-919-9835.

In May, the IRS added 3500 telephone representatives to help with potential payment issues. The IRS Help Number is 800-829-1040.

We have contacted the IRS for more information on how to prepare for a call to a representative.

If you are looking for additional personal financial information, we have suggestions on how to do it spend the stimulus money, how coronavirus can affect your rental payment and other ways to get financial relief during the pandemic.




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