CORONSVIRUS USA

Coronavirus stimulus check: what does 'Payment status not available' mean on the new IRS website?

The US Internal Revenue Service started sending out coronavirus stimulus payments this week but there was confusion among those waiting for their checks

Coronavirus stimulus check: what does 'Payment status not available' mean on the new IRS website?
APU GOMES AFP

The United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) began sending out stimulus payments to those who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic this week and launched a brand new website to explain how to apply for impact payments and tax reliefs. However, some users have received a message that their payment status is “not available” which has caused a host of complaints from worried applicants on social media.

Many US residents are entitled to Economic Impact payments of 1,200 dollars as long as they are completely up-to-date with their tax returns for the past two years and have a fully-working Social Security number. The IRS website is designed to let citizens find out if they are eligible for payments, enter their own bank details for checks to be deposited directly and determine when payments have gone through.

Am I eligible for stimulus checks?

Those who are not eligible include those with a gross annual income of over 99,000 dollars, those classified as ‘dependants’ i.e. children or students, non-residents and those who are not registered with the Social Security system.

The IRS claim that more than 6.2 million tax-paying applicants had received their payments by midday on Wednesday and gave a list of reasons why some users might be receiving the message: “Payment Status Not Available”. Among the reasons why some applicants might receive that message are the following:

  • Users have not filed a tax declaration for the tax years 2018 or 2019 and they might be required to submit additional information.
  • Tax declaration for one or both of the two years was only recently filed, or the information submitted information through Non-filers. Payment information must be entered into the IRS website: IRS.gov
  • The user might be a benefits recipient – SSA (Social Security), RRB Form 1099 (Railroad Retirement Board), SSI (Supplementary Security Income for children) or VA (Veterans Benefits).
  • There could be an issue with the applicant's Social Security number or account.
  • The applicant is simply not eligible for stimulus payment aid.

The IRS stated on their website: "The Get My Payment site is operating smoothly and effectively. As of mid-day today, more than 6.2 million taxpayers have successfully received their payment status and almost 1.1 million taxpayers have successfully provided banking information, ensuring a direct deposit will be quickly sent. IRS is actively monitoring site volume; if site volume gets too high, users are sent to an online “waiting room” for a brief wait until space becomes available, much like private sector online sites. Media reports saying the tool “crashed” are inaccurate".

There is a ‘Get My Payment’ tab on the IRS website where applicants can add any additional information that might be required. According to media reports, the stimulus payments that went out this week were first delivered to those who have already filled in their tax returns for 2018 and 2019 who have authorised direct deposits into their bank accounts with priority going to those on the lowest incomes.

More information can be found here on the IRS website: