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Still no stimulus check? If you need to be concerned, how to file a payment track with the IRS


If your stimulus check never arrived, you may need to request payment tracking from the IRS.

Sarah Tew / CNET

If you are still waiting for you third stimulus check to arrive, it may be too early to worry as the IRS is still busy sending the payments. (Here is how to track your third check.) But when should you stop being patient and start acting? And what’s the correct way to find a missing stimulus check? What if you never got the first or second check?

You are right to worry if you qualified for incentive money of one of the checks – the lack of arrival could be a signal problem with your checkespecially if the IRS does not have your correct information on file, such as an address if you have moved. If you’ve received some of your $ 1,400 payment, but not all that you owe, you may have one “plus-up” payment, which you should receive automatically without having to use a amended tax form.

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). This story has been updated.

When should you be concerned about a missing stimulus check?

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 said was 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.

What to do if the IRS tracker says your payment has been sent, but you don’t have it?

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 specified in the table above.

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What to do if the IRS sent you a letter confirming a payment that never arrived

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.

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 will 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 to request payment tracking and claim your missing incentive money from the IRS

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 it was you qualify for a check or to confirm the amount you should have received.

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How your payment tracking claim is processed

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 should you wait for your incentive money to arrive after a payment trace?

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’ve contacted 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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