STIMULUS CHECKS

Where is my second stimulus check: what to do if you haven't received it after January 15

We outline some courses of action to consider if you have not received your stimulus payment after the IRS' January 15 deadline.

Where is my second stimulus check: what to do if haven't received it after January 15

After President Donald Trump signed the $900 billion coronavirus stimulus bill, the IRS has been working as quickly as possible to send out the $600 stimulus check payments before the January 15 deadline that was stipulated in the bill.

With the tight deadline fast approaching, the IRS has sent out more than 80% of the stimulus checks, which is much quicker than the first round of stimulus checks, when it took the 19 days to send about 50% of the checks out.

If you still have not received payment – be it through direct deposit, a mailed check or a prepaid debit card – after January 15, the first thing you must do is use the IRS online Get My Payment tool, where you can find out if your payment was sent and when, and whether you were getting direct deposit, mailed check or debit card.

If you are due to receive a check or debit card in the mail, it’s probably best to give it some more time to arrive as delays have been caused by postal slow-downs across the country.

If you are you still haven’t received a check or debit card a week after 15 January, you can contact debit card issuer MetaBank, at (800) 240-8100, to see if there is a record of a payment in your name. If the card never arrives, you can request a new one with no charge.

What if your stimulus check was sent by direct debit?

If the payment tracker has been sent to a bank account number that you don’t recognize, it may be because you used a tax preparation company, such as Turbo Tax or H&R Block, which used account numbers that may be unfamiliar to the filer to process tax returns.

 

Both of these companies have told customers they are moving stimulus payments from those accounts to the customers’ accounts as quickly as possible. However, it is recommended that you contact your tax prep company to find out more about the status of your payment.

Another issue people are having is that their payment has been sent to an old bank account. The IRS will send the payment to the account it has on record for you, if there is one. If that account has been closed, the bank must return it to the IRS. In this situation, you won't have time to organize having the payment send to your correct bank account before the 15 January deadline, meaning you will have to claim your stimulus payment through the recovery rebate method (see below).

Claiming a tax rebate for your missing stimulus check

If February is approaching and you still have not received your payment – be it because the IRS had an old account number on record for you or some other reason – you can start assuming that the check is not coming. But don’t worry, if you are eligible for a payment, there is still one other route to claim the money your owed – through a tax rebate. 

You can claim a credit called the Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 tax return. Then you would get the payment in the form of a tax refund.

This route could also be applicable for people who have received a payment from the IRS but were mistakenly sent less than they were entitled to. In this case you could also claim the money you’re owed through the Recovery Rebate Credit.

If you don’t normally file a tax return, you can do so for free with IRS Free File service, which is expected to launch for the 2020 tax filing season later in January.