If your $600 stimulus payment still hasn’t arrived in your bank account or in your mailbox, you may be wondering if you can still expect it.
According to most recent guidance from the IRS, the answer is, “Maybe.”
Millions of second stimulus payments have been sent in recent weeks after Congress approved the payments in late December.
The checks include $600 per person, plus $600 per child under 17, provided they fall below certain income thresholds. In general, full payments go to individuals earning up to $75,000 and married couples filing jointly up to $150,000, gradually tapering off for income above those levels.
The IRS has an online tool – Receive my payment — which allows individuals to check the status of their checks. Provided you are eligible for the money, the status must show the date of the payment and the method: direct deposit, check or debit card.
Still, some people may get a “Payment Status Not Available” message when checking that site.
There are some steps you can take if you are not sure where your stimulus check is.
To start, check that you still meet the money requirements.
The checks are disappearing at the same rate as the first $1,200 incentive payments. However, because the checks are smaller this time around, the limits for reduced distributions are lower.
Persons with $87,000 in income and married couples with $174,000 will not receive payment. In contrast, the first payments were completely discontinued with incomes of $99,000 for individuals and $198,000 for couples.
So if you got a lower benefit last time, you may not get any money this time.
The new $600 checks are based on 2019 tax returns, while the first round of checking was based on 2018 or 2019 returns. So if you got a first incentive check based on your 2018 tax return and your income increased in 2019, you would reduced or no incentive benefit.
Many admission restrictions have remained the same. For example, if you are of legal age and dependents are claimed, you will not receive a check.
You are also not eligible if you do not have a BSN that is valid for employment, are a foreign foreign national or have died before 2020.
Detainees are eligible for benefits.
If you qualify for a stimulus check and receive a partial payment or no money at all, the IRS recommends that you claim a credit for the rest of the money when you file your 2020 tax return.
This year, the IRS has postponed the start of tax season to February 12.
The IRS cannot reissue posted payments returned by the post office. If you would like to recover money lost in transit, you can claim it on this year’s return.
For direct deposits that went to incorrect bank accounts, the solution can be a little more complicated. Payments can be misdirected if you use a service that has given you an advance on your tax refund.
“The IRS and tax industry partners are taking steps to redirect incentive payments to the appropriate account for those affected,” the IRS said on its website. “The IRS expects many additional taxpayers to receive payments following this effort. You do not need to take any action while this work continues.”
The bank account information you already have with the IRS cannot be changed through the Get My Payment app, which shows the status of the second payment.
If you see “Payment Status Not Available” when you look at the site, it could mean you’re ineligible or the government hasn’t been able to make your second payment. If the latter is the case, you can request the money back as settlement on your tax return.
“In general, my advice to everyone is to file electronically and file early,” said Janet Holtzblatt, senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.
People who typically don’t file tax returns should also plan to file their money unless they already provided that information to the government last year.
Those who receive federal aid through Social Security, railroad retirement, or veterans’ benefits should generally get the money automatically. If they don’t, they are also encouraged to file a tax return this year.
People who have not received a stimulus check or a partial stimulus check can apply for the credit by filing Form 1040, an individual tax return, or 1040-SR, a senior citizen return. The credit is calculated in the same way as the incentive checks, but is based on income data for 2020.