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Stimulus check not arrived? How to report it to the IRS

The US government has sent 159 million stimulus checks to Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic with speculation afoot that there will be a second round of payments.

Stimulus check not arrived? How to report it to the IRS

The United States government has sent 159 million stimulus checks as part of the CARES Act to help Americans struggling in the coronavirus pandemic. There are roughly 30 to 35 million payments yet to be issued and many are asking if there will be a second round as the economy has been reopening across the nation.

According to The Wall Street Journal the White House is already working on its own proposal for a second stimulus package and we could expect to hear about plans later this week.

Despite focus on a future round of Economic Impact Payments many beneficiaries of the first round of payments are still waiting for their checks to arrive and we look at a number of reasons why this payment may not have arrived.

Here are some reasons why people might still be waiting for stimulus money:

Non-filers who haven't provided details

Individuals who don’t normally file a tax return and haven’t provided their payment details should use the Non-Filers tool on the IRS website to do so. The tool will remain available until 15 October, and those who enter their information by that date will receive their EIP by the end of 2020, the IRS and the Treasury say.

Please note, however, that non-filers should get their stimulus payment automatically if they receive Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI) or survivor benefits, Railroad Retirement benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Veterans Affairs (C&P) benefits.

Bank-account details wrong

The deadline has passed for tax filers to use the IRS' 'Get My Payment' portal to update their bank details (except, it appears, if a mailed check cannot be delivered; see below). If your payment doesn't go through because the direct-deposit information that the IRS has on record is incorrect and/or out of date, says the IRS, your check "will be mailed to the address we have on file for you".

FILE PHOTO: Citibank offices in the Canary Wharf financial district in London, Britain, November 17, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo
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FILE PHOTO: Citibank offices in the Canary Wharf financial district in London, Britain, November 17, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File PhotoToby MelvilleREUTERS

USPS unable to deliver stimulus check

If the United States Postal Service (USPS) was unable to deliver your check and returned it to the IRS, the body will update your payment status in the 'Get My Payment' tool to "Need More Information". You will then be able to enter your bank details to receive your check by direct deposit instead, says the IRS.

Accidentally discarded EIP Card

The Treasury and the IRS revealed last month that they had begun mailing out around four million checks in the form of prepaid debit cards, known as EIP Cards. “Prepaid debit cards are secure, easy to use, and allow us to deliver Americans their money quickly,” said Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin.

However, the design of the EIP Card, and the envelope it comes in, has caused some recipients to mistake it for junk mail, leading them to unwittingly throw away their stimulus check. If you have mistakenly discarded your EIP Card, or lost it or had it stolen, call 1-800-240-8100 or go online to

Eligible tax filers not given a check

Tax filers not granted a stimulus check who believe themselves to be eligible will be able to claim their payment when they submit their 2020 return next year, the Treasury says. If you can’t wait until then, however, you can call 800-919-9835.

Payment amount wrong

Tax filers who have received their EIP but did not get as much as they believe they qualified for, or missed out on a $500 dependent credit, will have to wait until next year to correct the issue. “If you did not receive the full amount to which you are entitled, you will be able to claim the additional amount when you file your 2020 tax return,” the Treasury says.

Coronavirus USA: live coverage

You can follow live coverage relating to the Covid-19 pandemic in the US here.


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