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Home / Tips and Tricks / Still no stimulus check? Now is the time to trigger an IRS payment track. Here’s how

Still no stimulus check? Now is the time to trigger an IRS payment track. Here’s how



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You may need to request payment tracking from the IRS for your no-show stimulus check.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Tax season is underway, and with it an opportunity to file for any missing incentive money of the first or second round of checks that you owe. Millions of people experience delays or other issues that prevented their second stimulus check from arriving on time. While most will have to claim those missing funds on their 2020 tax return have a Refund Discount (even if you don’t usually file taxes), in some situations you may have to contact the IRS and request something called a payment tracking to track your money.

You can start by it IRS ‘Payment Status ToolDepending on what’s stated, you may need to apply for the recovery credit for your taxes. Or you may need to request payment tracking. (You can also use our stimulus calculator to estimate the amount of money you should have received.) We will help you figure out what to do. We also have a list of others stimulus check catches and exceptions here

Here’s everything you need to know about what an IRS payment track is, the two cases when you may need to apply for one instead of applying for a chargeback rebate for your taxes, and how to get started. We also have incentive payment guides older adults Adolescents SSI and SSDI receivers non-US nationals and people living abroad and people who pay or receive child benefitsPlus, here’s what we know about one so far third stimulus check, including how soon a new check could come what happens if it comes during tax season and how much money your household could getThis story was recently updated.

Scenario 1: According to the IRS online app, the agency sent your check, but it never arrived

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 hereYou must enter your social security number or individual taxpayer identification number, date of birth, street address and zip code.

The portal shows your payment status, whether your money 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.)

You need to request payment tracking if the Get May Payment portal indicates that your payment was made, but you did not receive 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 by check to a default address for the first check; after February 24 for the second check.
  • 6 weeks since it was shipped and you have registered a forwarding address with the local post office for the initial check; March 10 for the second check.
  • 9 weeks since it was shipped and you have a foreign address for the first check; March 31 for the second check.


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Scenario 2: You received a letter from the IRS confirming that your payment was sent, but you never received a check

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

How to Request a Payment Track from the IRS Now

Call the IRS to request payment tracking 800-919-9835 or mail or fax a completed Form 3911, Taxpayer’s Statement Regarding Reimbursement. (Note that if you call the number, you must listen to the recorded content before you can connect to an agent.) 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 to 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 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 you should not request payment tracking to determine if that was you qualify for a check, or to confirm the amount you should have received, the IRS said.

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Better catch that missing money before it slips away.

Sarah Tew / CNET

How does the IRS handle my 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, containing 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 I expect my missing incentive money?

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

For more information on stimulus controls, view all stimulus checks facts and details to know, everything we know about one third stimulus check until now, and three good reasons to file a direct deposit with the IRS


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