You aren’t alone in wondering: Why have I not received my coronavirus stimulus check? Over 80 million people have received their stimulus payments, but you might be anxiously anticipating the needed help. So, what are the reasons you may not have received your stimulus yet?
Since we don’t file our 2020 taxes until 2021, the IRS based our qualifications for the stimulus package on 2018 or 2019 taxes. Good news: Anyone who didn’t qualify for the package in 2019 gets another shot in 2020 for the $1,200 tax relief.
1. The system is glitchy. (Typing in ALL CAPS could fix it.)
When you fill out the IRS Get My Payment tool to check the status of your stimulus, you may see “Payment Status Not Available” flash onto your screen. This is something a lot of people have been going through, so don’t fret quite yet.
The system could be overloaded, or it could be glitching because you used a tax preparation service. Or maybe you just needed to use ALL CAPITAL LETTERS?
Social media has been abuzz with a weird workaround. A Los Angeles Times reporter tweeted that after weeks not being able to see her stimulus check status on the IRS website, she tried typing her address in ALL CAPS — and it worked. She was able to enter her bank account information. It’s been working for some people and not others, but it’s worth a try.
2. Your check might have gone to your tax preparation service.
If you filed your taxes through TurboTax, H&R Block, or another tax preparation service, your stimulus check may have gone to them instead. Sometimes tax preparers have your refund placed in a holding account where they remove their fees and then transfer the rest to you. This means the IRS may have not received your personal bank account information.
To fix this, put your information in Get My Payment to receive your payment through direct deposit instead of by mail. If Get My Payment isn’t available at the time you access it, try again later.
3. You received your tax refund by snail mail.
If you received your tax refund by mail last year, this year you will be getting the stimulus check by mail as well. Paper checks have to be processed, printed, placed in an envelope, and sent to the post office. Electronic transfers are done in an instant with the click of a button.
With IRS employees working from home, it’s supposed to take months for them to get mailed checks out.
4. Your mailed refund went to the wrong address.
Let’s say you’ve waited months for your paper check but still nothing. The IRS will send your check to the address they have on file from the last time you filed your taxes. If you’ve moved since then, there’s a form on the IRS website you can use to update your mailing address.
What’s tricky about this is, the IRS won’t update your address in their system until they get around to it. It won’t be instantaneous.
5. You filed your taxes later than usual.
If you haven’t filed your 2019 tax return but did in 2018, the amount you receive will be based on the most recent information available to the IRS. Although the IRS pushed back the due date on 2019 returns to July 15, 2020, it’s recommended you file your taxes as soon as possible, if you haven’t already. The longer you wait, the more likely it is your stimulus will be based on 2018’s numbers, and the longer it will take for the IRS to process and send your check.
6. You had to amend your taxes.
If there was an issue with your tax return and you had to add an amendment, you may have to wait longer than most to receive your stimulus package.
If there is currently an issue with your tax return that made you ineligible for the stimulus package, you can send in an amendment to right the wrong. You can do this through your tax company or by filling out an amendment form and mailing it to the IRS. The form is called a 1040-X and can be accessed on the IRS website.
Contrary to belief, the IRS is accepting mailed amendments. It might take some time before they get to them, but they will once they open their centers again. Don’t fret — you will receive your stimulus in due time.
7. You don’t file taxes.
If you don’t typically file tax returns and haven’t provided the IRS with your bank account information, you’ll have to wait a bit longer.
For low-income citizens who didn’t plan on filing their 2019 tax return because their gross income was at or below $12K, the IRS created an easy-to-fill form for non-filers.
Make sure you fill out the Form SSA-1099 or RRB-1099 to ensure you do receive your stimulus via direct deposit or mail. The IRS will use the information on the form to generate your payment.