Coronavirus Stimulus Checks

Second stimulus check: how to check payment status in IRS portal

How much the total stimulus could be remains a mystery as Congress hurtles towards the end of 2020, here’s how to track your check when it comes.

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Second stimulus check: how can i check my payment status in IRS portal?
ERIC BARADAT AFP

A stimulus check of at least $600 for those in the lowest income bracket is now almost a certainty since Donald Trump broke his nearly week-long delay on Sunday and signed the new $900bn bipartisan bill into law. There’s also a chance that a second bill which passed in the House on Monday could increase the maximum amount for each qualifying American to $2,000.

Even though that possibility currently hangs in the balance, when the terms are finally set in stone, the process will be much the same as last time, and the IRS will be using its “Get My Payment” tool to help you know the status of your payment.

Tracking your second stimulus check: IRS' Get My Payment tool

The IRS’ tracking tool is called Get My Payment but is currently offline, pending further information on the changing situation in Congress regarding a second stimulus check. The tool can usually be used to track payments for both filers of tax returns and non-filers. The holding message on the site states:

“The IRS continues to monitor and prepare for new legislation related to Economic Impact Payments. The IRS will make updates to the Get My Payment portal to provide updated information for taxpayers in the near future. Please continue to monitor IRS.gov for the latest information.”

The Frequently Asked Questions page also includes information on how to claim payments missed from the first round of stimulus checks, or amounts not fully realised as well as how to manage various error messages on the tracker.

When will second stimulus check arrive?

Although it appears the landscape keeps shifting with regards to the amount of stimulus each qualifying individual will receive, one thing’s for certain, something has to be in the post by 15 January.

Included in the $900bn bipartisan bill, that was approved by Congress and signed into law by president Trump, is a deadline of 15 January 2021 by which time the IRS and US Treasury must stop sending checks as part of this round of delivery.

If you don't receive your full second stimulus check  by 15 January, you will need to claim all or part of the missing amount when you file your federal tax returns in 2021. You will also be able to claim any money the IRS still owes you from the first round of payments sent out earlier in 2020.

Wednesday morning some Americans began receiving their stimulus checks sent automatically and directly to bank accounts, as uncertainty continues over whether the overall maximum total could be increased to $2,000.

Lower chamber passes $2,000 stimulus checks

The Democratic-led House of Representatives voted 275-134 to meet President Trump's demand for $2,000 relief checks on Monday, sending the measure on to an uncertain future in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Trump last week threatened to block massive pandemic aid  and spending package if Congress did not boost stimulus payments from $600 to $2,000 and cut other spending. He backed down from his demands on Sunday as a possible government shutdown brought on by the fight with lawmakers loomed.

The bill not only strikes off '$600' from the previous one and replacing it with '$2,000' also includes provisions for overriding Trump's veto of the annual defence-policy bill.

US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday said Senators this week will address Trump's request that the stimulus check total is increased to $2,000.

McConnell has linked the $2,000-check bill with Donald Trump’s requests regarding social media company protections and the president’s allegations of widespread election fraud, which have so far been unsubstantiated.