Where is my stimulus payment? Why you might still be waiting for the money

David Lightman
·5 min read

The latest stimulus payment should be in your hands, or at least your bank account, Wednesday if you’re a qualified retiree who didn’t file tax returns in 2019 or 2020.

The payments are the latest phase of the rollout of the stimulus, which provides up to $1,400 per person if their incomes qualify.

More than 130 million payments, often to eligible people who filed 2019 or 2020 tax returns, have been made so far.

But others are still waiting.

The Internal Revenue Service began making payments last weekend to people receiving Social Security retirement, survivor or disability (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) beneficiaries who did not file a 2020 or 2019 tax return or did not use the IRS’ special non-filers tool last year.

The agency says “the majority of these payments will be sent electronically” and should be received Wednesday.

“No action is needed by most people to obtain this round of Economic Impact Payments,” the IRS says.Social Security and other federal beneficiaries will generally receive this third payment the same way as their regular benefits.

The stimulus was part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan signed into law last month by President Biden. Any qualifying adult or child could receive $1,400. Full amount went to people with adjusted gross incomes of $75,000 or less if filing as an individual or $150,000 if filing jointly.

Payments will begin to be reduced to people earning more, and end at $80,000 for individuals and $160,000 for married couples filing jointly.

IRS began processing the first payments March 12, About 90 million payments were made at the time to people who had given IRS direct deposit information on their 2019 or 2020 returns. Also included were people who do not file but used the non-filer tool last year. Another 37 million payments went out about a week later.

A note from the IRS: Filing electronically alone will not provide the IRS with account information. Someone who owes taxes can make a payment without providing direct deposit info. That only comes when someone is due a refund and provides direct deposit information. Or they could have previously provided account info with the Get My Payment tool during the previous issuance of the first and second round of stimulus payments.

Questions and Answers

Here are some other questions, with answers from the IRS media affairs staff and AARP, about the stimulus that people have been asking:

Q. I’m not a retiree, but I have not gotten a payment. What should I do?

A. First, make sure you’re eligible. Requirements are different than they were for the first two payments. Payments stop if you filed as an individual and had more than $80,000 of adjusted gross income. The cutoff for joint filers is $160,000. That’s lower than it was for last year’s stimulus payments.

Q. I’m within those ranges. Where’s my payment?

A. The IRS makes the payments in groups. The third group went out March 26 and included people who got stimulus payments based on 2019 tax returns, but their new 2020 returns indicated they should be receiving more money.

Also getting payments are people in a situation where the IRS lacked information to issue a payment. But those people then filed tax returns and did qualify for a stimulus payment.

Q. Who would get this extra stimulus money based on a 2020 return?

A. Generally people whose income was down in 2020 from 2019 or added a child or dependent to their family. If you think you’re eligible, make the calculation as to how much you should receive and include it under “Recovery Rebate Credit” on Line 30 of our federal tax form.

Q. That’s me, but I’ve still received no additional payment. When will I get it?

A. As the IRS processes your 2020 return, and you qualify, the agency should provide the additional money.

Where is my money?

Q. How do I know when my money is coming?

A. Check Get My Payment, the IRS website that updates you on the status of your payment.

Q. I did, but my situation is somewhat complicated. I need help.

A. IRS has a line you can call -- 800-919-9835-- but the agency warns it’s very busy. Try calling your local congressman. Ask for a staff member (not the congressman). For a directory of who to call, try https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative.

Q. Any other potential delays?

A. From the IRS: “Currently, the IRS estimates that Economic Impact Payments for VA beneficiaries who do not regularly file tax returns could be disbursed by mid-April. VA beneficiary payment information will be available in the Get My Payment tool at a future date.

Q. Suppose Get May Payment shows my money has been deposited, but it’s not in my account?

A. If the website says the payment was made as a direct deposit, and it’s now more than 5 days after the payment date, check with the bank. If the money isn’t there, you may be able to request a payment trace. Check the guidelines:https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/questions-and-answers-about-the-third-economic-impact-payment-topic-j-payment-issued-but-lost-stolen-destroyed-or-not-received#howdoitrack

Q. Where else can I get help?

A.The IRS offers a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs. They will prepare your returns for free if you’re qualified. For VITA , people can qualify if they make $57,000 or less, have a disability or speak limited English.

Q. And for the Counseling for the Elderly program?

A. People 60 and older.

Q. How do I find these programs?

A. Use the VITA/TCE locator: https://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep/ or get help from AARP at http://www.aarp.org/applications/VMISLocator/searchTaxAideLocations.action

For more about the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program, visit https://www.aarpfoundation.org/taxaide.