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Missing stimulus check: You may need to request payment tracking from the IRS



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If your second stimulus check never arrived, it may be time to request payment tracking from the IRS.

Sarah Tew / CNET

There are one handful of reasons why you need your second stimulus control like you qualify for benefits. And although some problems may still be out of your control, with the The IRS deadline has now passed to automatically send your check, there are other ways to find out where your missing check is located.

One method is to claim the money on your 2020 tax return next month as a Chargeback Discount Credit (Here’s How). But in some situations you really have to do that contact the IRS and request something called a payment tracking to locate those missing amounts. (Use our stimulus calculator to estimate the amount of money you should have received in your check.)

Below we’ll explain what an IRS payment tracking is and the two scenarios that might require it, instead of using a chargeback discount. We also explain how to get started. Stay tuned for our stimulus check guides for older adults, Adolescents, SSI and SSDI receivers, non-US nationals and people living abroad and people who pay or receive child benefits. This is what we know about one so far third stimulus check, including all additional ways it can make you a bigger payment, when it can be approved and how much money your household could get.

Scenario 1: The online IRS app says it sent your money, but you’re still waiting

If your second stimulus control is missing, you must first go to the free IRS online payment tracking tool called Get My Payment to find out the status. We have full instructions on this how to use the Get My Payment tool and the different messages you can see here. But generally, the IRS updates the tool once a day. 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 check is scheduled to be sent, and the payment method (direct deposit or by mail) and date. You may also see another message or an error. (By the way, this is why you might want that register for direct deposit with the IRS if you haven’t already.)


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You need to request payment tracking if the Get May Payment portal indicates that your payment has been made, but you have not received it within these timeframes:

  • 5 days since the deposit date in Get My Payment and your bank says they haven’t received it
  • 4 weeks since it was sent to a standard address by check
  • 6 weeks since it was shipped and you have registered a forwarding address with the local post office
  • 9 weeks since it was shipped and you have a foreign address

Scenario 2: The IRS verified your payment in a letter, but you didn’t receive the money

About 15 days after the IRS sends your second stimulus check (by either direct deposit, paper check or EIP card ), you should get a letter from the agency confirm your payment and provide you with a way to contact us to report any issues. If you have received this letter – also called Notice 1444 Your Economic Impact Payment – but have never received your payment, you must request a Payment Trace. Make sure to keep the letter – you will need the information to make your claim. (Here’s what to do if you have lost the IRS letter on your stimulus check.)

How to Start a Payment Tracking with the IRS

Call the IRS to request payment tracking 800-919-9835 or mail or fax a completed Form 3911, Taxpayer’s Statement Regarding Reimbursement. Find out on the IRS website where you can mail or fax that form for your state.

To fill out Form 3911, the IRS provides the following instructions:

  1. Write ‘EIP’ 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 “2020” as tax Period.
  • Don’t write anything for the Date Archived.
  • Sign the form. If you are filing a married declaration, both spouses must sign the form.

You should not mail form 3911 if you have already requested a tracking by telephone. And 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, the IRS said.

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Now locate your first or second stimulus check.

Sarah Tew / CNET

How does the IRS handle your Payment Trace claim?

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, which will contain a copy of the cashed check. Then follow the instructions provided. The Office will review your claim and the signature on the canceled check before deciding whether to issue a replacement check. This is presumably for protection stimulus check fraud.

When can you expect your missing incentive payment?

According to its website, you should get a response from the IRS about six weeks after the agency receives your payment tracking request. However, this can be postponed due to limited staffing.

For more information on stimulus controls, view all stimulus checks facts and details to know, and three good reasons to file a direct deposit with the IRS.


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