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How and when to report your missing stimulus check payment

Months after the Internal Revenue Service’s $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus check program was announced, some people haven’t still haven’t gotten their money.

Earlier this month, the House Committee on Ways & Means estimated that up to 35 million stimulus check payments have not yet been issued. This does not necessarily mean that people who have not yet received their checks should immediately contact the IRS though.

Here are some scenarios covering missing stimulus check payments, and what you should do if one happens to you.

Make sure you’re eligible

First, you should make sure that you’ll be getting a payment from the IRS. If you made up to $75,000 individually or $150,000 as a married couple, you are eligible to receive $1,200 or $2,400 in a stimulus check, respectively. Those amounts decrease as your income exceeds the maximum amount. You must also have a Social Security number.

You can use the Get My Payment tool to determine what is the status of your check.

I never got my check by the date set by the IRS

Payments may either be directly deposited into your bank account, or sent through the mail as a paper check. The Get My Payment tool should provide information on the schedule of the deposit or the arrival of the paper check.

For direct deposits, the IRS suggests to check with the bank if the money has not yet arrived five days after the scheduled date.

For paper checks, you may sign up to the United States Postal Service’s Informed Delivery System to track the mail. If the USPS failed to deliver your check, the Get My Payment tool will show that it “Needs more information,” and will ask you for direct deposit details instead.

I never got the money, but the IRS says I did

Within 15 days of issuing the payment, intended recipients receive mail that confirms the amount and the method of delivery. However, if you receive that mail and you have not received the money, log on to the IRS’ Get My Payment tool to check the status of your payment.

To access the system, you will be asked to enter personal information. Make sure that you enter the exact information from your 2019 or 2018 tax return. If the system says your money was delivered, contact the IRS at the number below.

I threw out my prepaid card

Millions of Americans will be issued a pre-paid Economic Impact Payment Card instead of a paper check. The prepaid debit card will arrive in a plain envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services.

Some people may have ignored the mail, or worse, threw it away, thinking it was not important. If you believe that you may have misplaced or lost your prepaid card, you can contact Money Network Cardholder Services at 800-240-8100 for a replacement. The standard fee of $7.50 is waived for the first reissuance.

How to contact the IRS

When all else fails in tracking down your missing stimulus check, you may try contacting the IRS at 800-919-9835. However, you will have to exercise patience, as there may be long waiting times before you get to speak with a representative due to a surge in calls.

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