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Second stimulus checks are coming, but there are 10 things that can hold back yours


Not sure where your incentive money is? We can help.

Sarah Tew / CNET

It took the IRS and the United States Treasury Department just a few days to get it second stimulus controls. The IRS said it was starting to make sense direct deposits December 29 and mailing paper checks and EIP cards December 30th. Congress set a tight deadline of January 15 for this Incentive Payments of $ 600however. Then people who be eligible for a second stimulus check but have not received it, can claim their money as a chargeback credit when they file their taxes this year.

We know there are pitfalls. When the IRS is reopening its online tracking tool, you can check the status of your second stimulus control, including any clues if something is wrong. The online status portal is temporarily offline, but we can draw on what we’ve learned from the first round of payments to walk you through some of the common issues that may arise.

For example, if you’ve moved, it is possible that your check was sent to an old address registered by the IRS. Or the direct deposit may have been rejected by your bank. Maybe you thought you were the eligibility rules, but not really, or maybe your payment was stolen (which is rare, but has happened). We have listed 10 possible pitfalls to keep an eye on.

The IRS was unable to process it on Jan. 15

We have no doubt that the IRS and the U.S. Treasury Department are working to meet the January 15 deadline to process payments. But with tens of millions of payments to work through in a total of 17 days (December 29 to January 15, including weekends), we can guess that some stimulus checks may not make it to the final sprint. In that case, you must claim your missing money through it IRS ‘Recovery Rebate Credit during tax season.

Are you sure you meet the eligibility requirements?

Stimulus check qualifications are much more delicate and complex than they seem. It is not enough to qualify as your total AGI, or adjusted gross income, meets the monetary limits to qualify for a check. That is the fiscally income rating that the IRS uses as part of the formula to calculate your payment. You can use our second stimulus check calculator to see how it works.

There are also situations that apply to tens of millions of people who can change a payment in one way or another, including:

Here’s who may not qualify for a second stimulus check.

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Second stimulus checks: everything you need to know


The IRS may need more information from you

In the first round of checks, most payments were made automatically. And the IRS said that will also be the case for this second round.

However, in the initial checks, millions of eligible people had to go the extra mile to get a missing payment, by using an online app that the IRS called the Non-Filers tool. However, the IRS closed the tool on Nov. 21.

Now, those the IRS defines as a “non-applicant” and who have not received what they owe with the first or second incentive check can claim it as a “Refund Discountwhen they file their federal income tax return for 2020. Here are some of the people who may fall into this category of non-filers:

You have moved and need to tell the USPS and IRS

If you have moved, the IRS may be using an older address it has on file and not know where to send your paper check or EIP debit card. You may need to call the IRS to report your missing check. Here’s how change your address and notify the IRS. While the IRS has not yet said how it will handle this situation for the second checks, you may need to claim your missing payment of your taxes this year if this is your case.


Let the IRS and USPS know if you have moved.

Angela Lang / CNET

Your stimulus check has been incorrectly garnished to cover unpaid debts

During the first check there were several situations in which you check yourself can be diverted to cover certain debts, including to cover overdue child support.

For the second check, Congress abolished many of the situations where creditors and debt collectors could garnish your payment – including repay child support – but your bank may still be able to use your second check for coverage of current account costs.

The IRS does not have your current bank information

For the initial check, the IRS used bank information from your 2018 or 2019 tax return to send your payment. For the second check, the IRS said it only uses your 2019 tax return.

However, some tax collectors set up temporary accounts for their clients to receive their returns, such as on a prepaid debit card. If this is the information the IRS had for you on the first check, the agency said the payment was returned and processed again.

While the IRS has not provided information on how this situation will be handled for second checks, we recommend that you consult the Get My Payment tool once it becomes available again, and if you do not receive your payment, request it filing your federal tax year.


Has your stimulus check been hung? Make sure to consider all possible scenarios.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Your bank cannot process the direct deposit

If your bank failed to process the electronic money transfer from the IRS on the initial check, the payment was returned to the IRS, who sent the check to the most current address on our file, either from a 2019 or 2018 tax return. Or one of the postal service. Again, the IRS has not said how it will handle this situation for second checks, and is recommending that you claim a missing payment on your taxes this year.

A claimed dependent is not eligible for benefits

In general, parents who are not married to each other and who do not file a joint declaration cannot claim an eligible child as a dependent child. The parent who claimed their child upon their return in 2019 can receive the benefit. Likewise, dependent students are not eligible for benefits.

However, there is a loophole that applied to the first stimulus control that was allowed unmarried parents in child support situations, filing separately, which claimed that in other years, a dependent would each receive the payment of $ 500 per qualified dependent. Confusing, yes. It’s not clear whether that would also apply to the $ 600 per child in the second stimulus check.

You may have thrown the envelope away with your payment

Some reported on the first payment accidentally throw it away the envelope with their check, which it did not recognize, contained their incentive payment. The IRS recommends that you look for a white envelope with the seal of the United States Treasury Department on your mail. If you prepaid debit cardthe Visa name is on the front of the card and the issuing bank, MetaBank, NA, on the back.

You may be a victim of a scam

The FBI and IRS warn that scammers want to steal your stimulus check. We have a guide for that how to guard against and how to report these attacks. With the first checks, the IRS sent a letter letting you know that the agency had sent your money – with details on whether it came by mail or directly to your bank – and with information on how to report the money not arriving . The IRS said it is sending a similar letter with payment for the second checks.

If you’re trying to find out the status of your stimulus check, here’s what we know who is eligible, how much you could expect and how get an estimate how much to expect.

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