My aunt called me in a panic that she still hadn’t received her stimulus check. Her stimulus check was missing. Has this happened to you?
Fortunately we got it figured out and her stimulus money arrived. Here are the steps that I took to recover a missing stimulus check.
Steps to Take If Your Stimulus Check is Missing
First, you’ll want to login to check your payment status. The IRS allows you to setup a direct deposit for your stimulus check. Check your payment here at the IRS Stimulus Check portal.
Common Mistakes on the IRS Get My Payment
Unfortunately for my aunt, they somehow ignored her “direct deposit” details when we first heard about it and sent her a physical check. That check was returned (sent to an incorrect address) and the IRS site updated the status saying it would now be direct deposited.
It took a few steps to check her deposit because I kept getting a “payment status not available” message whenever I logged into the portal.
The good news is that her stimulus check was direct deposited just last week. Missing stimulus check problem solved.
Here are some steps to take if you are getting an error message when you input your name and address.
- Make sure your address is in all caps. We’re trying to match what the IRS shows in their records to avoid getting the error message.
- If you live in an apartment, make sure you use the word Unit instead of a number sign. (Example: Unit 403 instead of #403)
- Match the address on your tax return. For example, I noticed that Ave. was completely spelled out on my aunt’s tax return.
- IF you did not file a return nor receive a tax refund, then enter $0 when you get to the question: “Amount of your last refund or tax bill?”
- Once in the system, enter your direct deposit information or read the status update inside from the IRS.
How Long Does It Take?
- Direct Deposits take less than 5 business days.
- Paper Checks take 4 weeks or less. (Add 2 weeks for mail forwarding)
- Foreign countries take 9 weeks or less.
If your check has not arrived after this time period, it’s time to initiate a trace.
Initiate a Trace on Your IRS Stimulus Check
You can initiate a trace by doing one of the following:
- Call the IRS Live Phone Assistance at 800-919-9835. I found this directly on the IRS website here.
- Fill out Form 3911 and mail it. I recommend trying to get through by phone before mailing the form. If you’re married filing jointly, both you and your spouse need to sign the form.
Where to Mail or Fax Your Form 3911
Find your state below. Next to it – you’ll find the address to mail your form 3911. Next to that, you’ll find the fax number you can fax it to.
|Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont||Andover Internal Revenue Service 310 Lowell St. Andover, MA 01810||855-253-3175|
|Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Virginia||Atlanta Internal Revenue Service 4800 Buford Hwy Chamblee, GA 30341||855-275-8620|
|Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas||Austin Internal Revenue Service 3651 S Interregional Hwy 35 Austin, TX 78741||855-203-7538|
|New York||Brookhaven Internal Revenue Service 1040 Waverly Ave. Holtsville, NY 11742||855-297-7736|
|Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming||Fresno Internal Revenue Service 5045 E Butler Avenue Fresno, CA 93888||855-332-3068|
|Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, West Virginia||Kansas City Internal Revenue Service 333 W Pershing Rd. Kansas City, MO 64108||855-344-9993|
|Alabama, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee||Memphis Internal Revenue Service 5333 Getwell Rd. Memphis, TN 38118||855-580-4749|
|District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island||Philadelphia Internal Revenue Service 2970 Market St. Philadelphia, PA 19104||855-404-9091|
|A foreign country, U.S. possession or territory*, or use an APO or FPO address, or file Form 2555 or 4563, or are a dual-status alien.||Austin Internal Revenue Service 3651 S Interregional Hwy 35 Austin, TX 78741||855-203-7538|
How the IRS Processes Your Claim
The IRS will process your claim for a missing payment in one of two ways:
- If the check was not cashed, the IRS will issue a replacement. Then, if you find the original check, you must return it as soon as possible.
- If the refund check was cashed, the Bureau of the Fiscal Service (BFS) will send you a claim package that includes a copy of the cashed check. Follow the instructions. BFS will review your claim and the signature on the canceled check before determining whether they can issue you a replacement check.
Frequently Asked Questions About Missing Stimulus Checks
U.S. citizens and U.S. resident aliens will receive the Economic Impact Payment of $1,200 or $2,400 if they filed married filing jointly and if they are not a dependent of another taxpayer and have a work eligible Social Security number with adjusted gross income up to:
$150,000 for married couples filing joint returns
$112,500 for head of household filers and
$75,000 for all other eligible individuals
Eligible retirees and recipients of Social Security retirement, survivor, or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and VA Compensation and Pension (C&P), who do not file a tax return, will receive a $1,200 payment automatically.
These benefit recipients should refer to the Social Security, Railroad Retirement and Department of Veteran Affairs benefit recipients
section of the FAQs for additional information.
Taxpayers likely won’t qualify for an Economic Impact Payment if any of the following apply:
You do not have any qualifying children and your adjusted gross income is greater than$198,000 if your filing status was married filing jointly
$136,500 for head of household
$99,000 for all other eligible individuals
You can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return. For example, this would include a child, student who can be claimed on a parent’s return or a dependent parent who is claimed on their child’s return.
You do not have a Social Security number that is valid for employment.
You are a nonresident alien.
You filed Form 1040-NR or Form 1040NR-EZ, Form 1040-PR or Form 1040-SS for 2019.
An incarcerated individual.
A deceased individual.
An estate or trust.
Eligible individuals with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for head of household filers and $150,000 for married filing jointly are eligible for the full $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 married filing jointly. In addition, they are eligible for an additional $500 per qualifying child.
For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced by 5% of the amount that your adjusted gross income exceeds the $75,000/$112,500/$150,000 thresholds. Single filers with income exceeding $99,000, $136,500 for head of household filers and $198,000 for joint filers with no children are not eligible and will not receive payments.