Check the Status of Your Stimulus With This Tool


Illustration for article titled Check the Status of Your Stimulus With This Tool
Photo: McJeff (Shutterstock)

Forget trying to call the IRS about your second COVID relief check—the lines are clogged. As of Monday, their Get My Payment tool is the easiest way to know if your new payment has been sent.

What the ‘Get My Payment’ tool will tell you

The tool isn’t perfect but it’s your best place to start, as the IRS’ phone lines have been overwhelmed by demand. Plus, according to the IRS, the staff on the other end of the line “do not have any additional information beyond what’s available online,” so there’s no need to call their offices for relief check updates. Here’s what the tool (should) tell you:

  • Whether your second stimulus payment has been sent.
  • Whether your first stimulus payment has been sent (for people who received their first payment in partial payments, the application will show only the most recent payment).
  • Your payment type: direct deposit or mail.
  • The IRS is sending payments on a schedule, so if your payment schedule is set, the tool will show you the date.

What you’ll need to know

  • You’ll need to plug in your Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, date of birth, street address, and postal code.
  • The IRS updates its status tracking information once a day, overnight, so don’t waste your time checking it every hour.
  • If you try to access the tool during a busy period, you may wait in a queue before you can enter your information.

If you get an error message about the information not matching IRS records, make sure you double-check your information (Forbes has a good tip: Use the U.S. Postal Service’s ZIP Lookup tool to look up the standard version of your address, and enter it into exactly as it appears on file with the Postal Service).

If you want to know how much money to expect to receive, use this calculator.

H&R Block or Intuit Turbo Tax customers might have delayed payments 

If you’re an H&R Block or Turbo Tax customer and don’t recognize the banking information on file, that’s likely from a temporary Refund Transfer pass-through bank account that has mistakenly been designated as your primary direct deposit account. H&R Block says that they’re rerouting the payments to either the correct direct deposit account or to your Emerald Card, and that should be done by the end of the day. (Turbo Tax has a series of tweets that points back to the IRS).

I got a “please try again later” message. What does it mean? 

It means your account has been locked after three failed attempts to log in within 24 hours. Double-check your information and try again later.

What about “payment status #2 – not available”?

This means the agency could not determine your eligibility for a payment, although it’s not clear exactly what that means: It could be that you failed to return a 2018 or 2019 tax return, only recently filed a tax return, or provided information elsewhere, like as non-filer, SSA or RRB Form 1099 recipient, or as a SSI or VA benefit recipient.

Unfortunately, according to CNBC Make It , this means that you will not receive the check automatically—you’ll have to file your 2020 taxes to get the payment. Per the IRS: