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Still no third incentive payment? How to request an IRS trace to keep track of your check


An IRS payment track can help you figure out where your last incentive payment is hiding.

Sarah Tew / CNET

When do you start to worry if you haven’t? received your stimulus check yet? The IRS will send weekly payments until the end of the year, but if you use your $ 1,400 payment and are sure you are eligible, it might be time to track it down. This applies to the first and second payment from 2020also.

You may find there is a problem with your check, or the IRS may have the wrong postal address. Another reason to track your payment is if you only received a portion of the money that you are eligible for as you have a “plus-up” payment (in that case you don’t need to amended tax form).

We’ll tell you what you need to request an IRS payment track or file for a chargeback discount crediteven if you do not normally file a tax return (the tax term was May 17). If you’ve filed your 2020 tax return and you’re waiting for your refund money, here it is how to track it down. If you have received unemployment benefits in 2020, you could get a big tax break. This is also what we know about a possible fourth incentive payment, how can you tell if the IRS owes you an additional refund and how many of the $ 3,600 per child you could get with the child discount from July. This story gets regular updates.

When should I request an IRS payment track?

Since the third stimulus checks are still being sentyou can hold out a little longer before taking action. If you haven’t gotten your first or second check at all, it’s time to do something. This chart shows when you can and should request an IRS payment track, 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 payments of 2020. If your first or second stimulus check is missing, you can use the Download my payment tool to track it down.

How can I check the status of my missing incentive payment?

It’s easy to do check the status of your third stimulus check via the Get My Payment tool. You must request payment tracking if the IRS portal indicates that your payment was made, but you did not receive it within the time frame specified in the table above.

To use the tool, you 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 has been scheduled 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 US Postal Service.)

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I received a letter from the IRS confirming my third incentive payment, but I still haven’t received the money. What now?

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 confirming your payment. The IRS still sends 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 as you will need the information to make your claim. (Here’s what to do if you have lost the IRS letterThe same is true for the first and second stimulus controls.

How do I request an IRS trace of 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 it amount you should have received.

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What is the IRS doing with missing stimulus check claims?

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.
  • If you cashed or deposited the check, 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 will it take for my stimulus money to arrive after I request 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.

For more information on a possible fourth stimulus control and what else is included in the stimulus package that can help you financially.

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