CORONAVIRUS

Where is my second stimulus check, when will I get and how to track it with IRS?

With the $600 stimulus checks issued at the end of 2020, and a new Congress being sworn in on Sunday, Americans want to know how to track their payments.

Where is my second stimulus check, when will I get and how to track it?

Stimulus checks of at least $600 for those in the lowest income bracket began being issued to Americans at the end of 2020, after Donald Trump broke his nearly week-long delay and signed the new $900bn bipartisan relief bill into law. There was a chance that a second bill, one that passed in the House, could make it through the Senate and increase the maximum amount for each qualifying American to $2,000. Mitch McConnell ensured that was never going to happen before the new year.

Whether or not a new Congress, one potentially with a Democrat-deciding Senate, can advance those increased payments, the process will be much the same as last time, and the IRS will be using its “Get My Payment” tool.

How to track 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 can I expect my second stimulus check?

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.

Lower chamber passed $2,000 stimulus check

The Democratic-led House of Representatives voted 275-134 to meet President Trump's demand for $2,000 relief checks late December, before it being blocked decisively by the Republican-controlled Senate. Not even getting a clean vote.

Despite Trump's threat to block massive pandemic aid and a spending package if Congress did not boost stimulus payments from $600 to $2,000, he backed down from his demands as a possible government shutdown brought on by the fight with lawmakers loomed.

As 2021 rolls in, and Joe Biden's inauguration set for 20 January, we will see if more can be done to help needy Americans with a vaccine-aided end to the covid-19 pandemic still expected to be months away.