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An IRS payment trace may find your missing stimulus money. Here’s how to get one

Below are frequently asked questions, separated by topic, related only to the first round of Economic Impact Payments, also known as stimulus payments. Please do not call the IRS. If you have questions about the second Economic Impact Payment, also known as stimulus payments, see the related questions and answers.
ou got a letter from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) saying that your stimulus payment has been paid. The one problem: You didn’t get a stimulus payment. What should you do?
The vast majority of Michigan residents are eligible to receive a stimulus check from the federal government this year. Even if you have no income, you are still eligible, but need to take action to receive your stimulus payment. This includes individuals with low or no earnings who normally don’t file taxes. Every American adult earning less than $75,000 (or couples earning less than $150,000) is eligible for a stimulus check from the federal government this year. While this site is geared toward Michigan residents, the information is applicable nationwide.
Notice 1444 is what the IRS sends in the mail to confirm that it sent the stimulus payment to you. (They will not call.) The letter should arrive about two weeks after the payment was issued. You can also find out about stimulus payment delivery via the Get My Payment online tool at IRS.gov.
The IRS is currently delivering the second round of stimulus payments. Most should arrive by the end of January.
If you didn’t receive your first or second payment by direct deposit or mail, you can claim it on your 2020 tax return.
In the meantime, you probably don’t need to contact the IRS about a missing stimulus check unless you have reason to believe it was lost or stolen.
Every stimulus check recipient will get a confirmation letter in the mail. If you received the letter but no money, you can initiate a trace on your payment by calling the IRS at 800-919-9835.
Scenario 1: The IRS online app says the agency sent your money, but haven’t received a check
If your second stimulus check is missing, you should first go to the free IRS online payment tracking tool called Get My Payment to find out its status. We have full instructions on how to use the Get My Payment tool and the different messages you might see here. You’ll need to plug in your Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, date of birth, street address and ZIP or postal code.

The portal will show your payment status, if your check has been scheduled to send, and the payment method (direct deposit or by mail) and date. You might also see a different message or an error. (By the way, here’s why you might want to register for direct deposit with the IRS if you haven’t already.)

Before you attempt to contact the IRS, make sure you really didn’t get the payment. The letter will indicate how the payment was issued. If you have direct deposit, you should check your account and wait at least five days after the scheduled deposit. It may take your bank that long to clear the stimulus payment. If the IRS mailed a check, wait four weeks because it can take a while for things to get through the mail. If you have a forwarding address on file with the post office, you’ll need to wait six weeks, and if you have a foreign address, you should wait nine weeks.
The IRS has issued approximately 160 million payments from the first round of Economic Impact Payments, totaling over $270 billion. You can check the status of your payment with Get My Payment.It’s been two weeks since the IRS and US Treasury pumped the brakes on automatically sending out second stimulus checkof as much as $600 per person. While some people report their payments have arrived, millions of others are experiencing delays or other issues that have prevented their check from arriving. To learn where your money is and what could be holding it up, you should first check the IRS’ payment status tool. Depending on what it tells you, you may need to take another step to track down your cash.
An IRS payment trace may find your missing stimulus money. Here’s how to get one For most people, that means you’ll need to claim your missing money on your 2020 tax return, as a Recovery Rebate Credit (here’s how to file that claim, even if you don’t usually file taxes). But in certain cases, you’ll need to contact the IRS and request something called a Payment Trace to find your missing funds. (You can use our stimulus calculator to estimate the amount of money you should have received in your check.)

Here’s everything you need to know about what an IRS Payment Trace is, the two cases when you may need to request one instead of a Recovery Rebate Credit and how to get started. We’ve also got stimulus check guides for older adults, young adults, SSI and SSDI recipients, non-US citizens and those living abroad and people who pay or receive child support. Plus, here’s what we know so far about a third stimulus check, including the latest drama with the size of the check, when it could get approved and how much money your household could get. This story was recently updated.

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