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Don’t have your stimulus check yet? How to request an IRS trace to track your payment


If you think your stimulus check has gone AWOL, you may want to request payment tracking from the IRS.

Sarah Tew / CNET

More than 163 million promotional payments so far have been assumed by the IRS, in front of $ 384 billion in total. But if you are eligible for the third check and you haven’t received it yet, it’s probably not much comfort to know that the IRS will make payments until the end of the year. However, if you think something has gone wrong and your payment of $ 1,400 lost, you may want to take action to locate your missing money – and the same is true regardless of whether it comes from the first, second or third round of payment.

If you qualify for incentive money from one of the three checks, but they never arrived, it could mean there’s a problem with the payment – especially if the IRS doesn’t have your correct information (such as an address if you have moved). You may also be one “plus-up” payment if you have received something from you $ 1,400 payment but not everything you owe. You should automatically receive your additional payment without having to change your tax form. (You may also be able to take advantage of a number of other savings options thanks to latest incentive law.)

We’ll show you some ways to track your payment, either through a Credit for chargeback discount (even if you don’t usually file taxes) or an IRS payment track. Plus, this is what we hear about a potential fourth stimulus control, all tax credits to which you can claim this year, what could happen forgiveness of student loans and the latest news about the child tax credit. (Calculate your total here.) This story has been updated.

When to worry about missing stimulus control

Third stimulus checks are still being sent, so we recommend that you last a little longer. If you haven’t gotten your first or second check at all, it’s time to take action. In general, this chart shows when you can and should request an IRS payment tracking, which is designed to track down a stimulus check that the agency claims to have sent. Learn more about how a payment track works, how to get started, and when to use it below.

When should you request an IRS payment track?

Payment method

Time has passed since the IRS says it sent your payment

Direct Deposit

5 days

Check emailed to default address

4 weeks

Check sent to a forwarded address

6 weeks

Check sent to a foreign address

9 weeks

This timeline was also the same for the first and second checks. If your first or second stimulus check is missing, you can use the Download my payment tool to track them down. Here’s how find the amount of your first two stimulus checks.

The IRS tracker app says my stimulus payment has been sent, but I have not received it. What now?

The IRS continues send the third stimulus check to millions of people, so chances are if you don’t have yours yet, it’s in the works. You can check the status of your third check. You must enter your social security number or individual taxpayer identification number, date of birth, street address and zip or postal code.

The portal shows your payment status, whether your money is scheduled to be sent, and the payment method (direct deposit or by post) and date. You may also see another message or an error. (Here is how to track your mailed check via the USPS.)

You must request payment tracking if the Get My Payment portal indicates that your payment has been made, but you have not received it within the timeframes indicated in the table above.

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I received a letter from the IRS confirming my incentive payment, but my money never arrived. What should I do?

About 15 days after the IRS issues your third stimulus check (by either direct deposit, paper check or EIP card), you should get a letter from the agency confirmation of your payment. The IRS is now sending these letters for the third payment.

If you received this letter – also called Notice 1444, Your Economic Impact Payment – but never received your payment, you need to request payment tracking. Make sure to keep the letter – you need the information to make your claim. (Here’s what to do if you have lost the IRS letter on your stimulus checkThe same is true for the first and second stimulus controls.

How can I request an IRS payment track and claim my missing incentive money?

Call the IRS to request payment tracking 800-919-9835 or mail or fax a completed form 3911, Taxpayer’s Statement of Refund (PDF). Note: When calling the number, you must listen to the recorded content before you can connect to an agent.

To fill out Form 3911 for your third stimulus check, the IRS issues the following instructions:

1. Write ‘EIP3’ at the top of the form (EIP stands for Economic Impact Payment).

2. Fill out the form and answer any refund questions related to your payment.

3. When completing item 7 under section 1:

  • Check the box for “Individual” if the Kind of return.
  • Enter “2021” as tax Period of time.
  • Don’t write for the Date Archived.
  • Sign the form. If you are married and are applying together, both spouses must sign the form.

You should not email Form 3911 if you have already requested a tracking by phone. And the tax authorities said you should not request payment tracking to determine if this was the case qualify for a check or to confirm the amount you should have received.

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How does the IRS handle my payment track?

The IRS will do the following to process your claim, according to its website:

  • If you haven’t cashed the check, the IRS will issue a replacement. If you discover the original check between your belongings, you are expected to return it as soon as possible.
  • Once you have collected the refund check, you can expect a claim package from the Office of the Tax Authorities, containing a copy of the cashed check. Follow the instructions provided. The agency will review your claim and the signature on the canceled check before deciding whether to issue a replacement check. This is presumably to watch out for stimulus check fraud.

How long does it take for my stimulus check to arrive after payment tracking?

According to the website, you should get a response from the IRS about six weeks after the agency receives your payment tracking request. But this can be postponed due to the limited staffing. We have asked the IRS for more information.

For more information on stimulus controls, here what we know about a possible fourth stimulus check and what else is included in the stimulus package that can help you financially.

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