Second stimulus check update: Some won’t get $600 check and will have to wait for tax time

Ron Hurtibise, South Florida Sun Sentinel
·3 min read

Haven’t gotten your $600 second stimulus check yet? If the IRS hasn’t sent it out to you by the end of this week, you’re out of luck for now.

You’ll have to claim it when you file your taxes later this year.

The good news is you would get a larger tax refund if you have one coming or you’d be able to deduct the money from what you owe Uncle Sam for 2020.

But making recipients wait months or letting them reduce their tax debt isn’t what Congress and the president had in mind when they enacted the $900 billion COVID-19 relief act late last month. The stimulus checks were intended to be a financial shot in the arm for an economy suffering from yet another surge of infections, business shutdowns and job losses.

Individuals with adjusted gross incomes of $75,000 or less are to receive $600. Married couples with incomes of $150,000 or less will get $1,200. Each qualifying child will increase the payment by $600.

It’s unknown right now how many recipients will be left out by the Jan. 15 deadline for the IRS to finish sending out the second checks. The agency still has the remainder of this business week to get its job done.

Since the distributions began Dec. 29, money has already gone out to 80% of recipients via mail, direct deposit, or reloading of EIP debit cards, the Treasury Department reported last week. Anyone getting a check by mail can expect to wait three to four weeks from the time it went out.

Again during this round, recipients are supposed to be able to check the status of their payment by plugging their Social Security numbers, home address and ZIP code into the portal at

But just like last time, some recipients who run the query will get a response stating their status is “Not Available” with an explanation that “We don’t have enough information” or “You’re not eligible for a payment.”

Last time, that message persisted for weeks for recipients who found themselves at the end of the distribution line. But last spring, the IRS was under no deadline to finish distributions. Eventually, most recipients who received that message got their money.

On Jan. 6, the IRS added a section to its Frequently Asked Questions page stating that anyone who queries the Get My Payment site and gets the response “Payment Status #2 — Not Available” will not receive a second payment and must claim it on their 2020 tax return.

Those who won’t get a second payment are advised to “file their 2020 tax return electronically and claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on their tax return to get their payment and any refund as quickly as possible,” the IRS’ statement said.

Get My Payment data is updated daily, so it’s possible that a query tomorrow might yield a different answer. You never know when it comes to the IRS. The site also outlines reasons why you might not be entitled to a stimulus check, such as you are a jail inmate or the spouse or child of a non-U.S. citizen.

Once again, the IRS is busy correcting errors that resulted in direct deposits to incorrect or inactive bank accounts. If the problems occurred because of direct deposit information accessed through tax preparers like TurboTax or H&R Block, those preparers are working with the IRS to correct the problem.