Still Waiting on Your Stimulus Check? Here’s What You Need To Know
Written by Cooper and Friedman on September 29, 2020
On April 15th 2020, the first round of stimulus checks afforded by the CARES Act were sent out via direct deposit or mailed in the form of paper checks and prepaid debit cards to qualified Americans.
- Eligibility for receiving a payment included the following groups of people:
- Single US residents with an adjusted gross income less than $99,000
- Those who filed as heads of their household earring under $146,500
- Those who filed jointly without children earning less than $198,000
- Parents of children aged 16 or younger
While the second stimulus package is currently being negotiated in Washington, payments from the first one are scheduled to be distributed through the end of 2020. If you’re like the millions of Americans who met these requirements and are still waiting to receive their checks, here are a few likely reasons why yours has or has not been scheduled for later in the year:
Outdated Banking Information
The IRS is referencing 2018 and 2019 tax returns when it comes to your banking information. If you or your tax preparer set up a temporary account for you to receive your return (such as a prepaid debit card) or your bank failed to process the electronic money transfer for whatever reason, then it is expected the payment was returned for reprocessing and a check will be mailed to the most current address on file.
Parents who are divorced and file separately cannot both claim a qualifying child as a dependent. The parent who claimed their child on their 2019 return will receive the payment. Dependents do not qualify for a check.
Child support that is past-due may have been deducted from your payment resulting in a reduced check or the loss of one entirely. If this is the case, you shall receive a notice from the Bureau of the Fiscal Service.
No 2018 or 2019 Tax Return
Those eligible for a stimulus check but who were not required to file a 2018 or 2019 tax return due to low income may need to use the IRS’ non-filers tool to submit their information. This must be done by October 15th, 2020, after which the only way to claim a payment will be to file a federal income tax return. In an effort to help notify the estimated 9 million non-filers, the IRS is sending notifications by mail.
It’s important to remember that the IRS will not call you about your stimulus check. Calls from those claiming to represent the IRS are most commonly fraudulent. However, you may receive a letter from the IRS informing you of how and when they sent out your payment with details on what to do if you didn’t receive it.
If you believe your stimulus check was stolen or a victim of a scam, you can report it online to the Federal Trade Commission.
Those who were sent a prepaid debit card (otherwise known as the Economic Impact Payment Card or EIP) in lieu of a check may have mistaken it for junk mail and tossed it. To recover misplaced cards, call 800-240-8100 to request a replacement. According to the EIP card website, once you report it, “Your Card will be deactivated to prevent anyone from using it and a new replacement Card will be ordered. Fees may apply.” The EIP card arrives in a plain envelope, with “Money Network Cardholder Services” listed as the sender.
Tracking Your Payment
The United States Postal Service offers a free tracking service where they offer digital previews of your mail in route so you are alerted prior to delivery.
Additionally, those expecting payments can use the IRS’ Get My Payment tool for an updated timeline. This platform will also allow you to correctly enter your banking information so you can receive money in the form of a direct deposit. If your check was returned by the post office, you can update your mailing address with the IRS online.
The Cooper & Friedman law firm has been serving the needs of clients in Louisville and the surrounding areas since 1991. We offer free consultations to discuss your case and determine how we can help you. Please contact us at 502-459-7555 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced attorneys.