This week, billions of dollars from the stimulus package were deposited in over 80 million accounts of Americans. While the IRS has done a pretty good job of getting this up and going, including a Get My Payment tool to help out, there are still problems surrounding this stimulus money that is keeping it from getting to many Americans who could use it.
“Where Is My Stimulus Money?!”
Falling Through the Age and Dependent Cracks
There is an unfortunate area where many people are falling through the cracks right now. That is because the bill defines children as under 17 while also excluding those who are claimed as dependents from receiving their own stimulus money.
So, for example, if you have a kid in college living at home that is claimed as a dependent on your annual taxes, you will not receive the $500 for him/her. Unfortunately, because you have claimed them as a dependent on your latest tax returns, they also cannot claim the $1,200 for themselves.
This also affects those with disabilities who may be a dependent on someone else’s return but over the age of 17. There are reports that such problems may be addressed should there be another stimulus package in the coming weeks or months. But, it certainly does not help right now.
Did You Use a Tax Preparer?
If you used something like H&R Block, TurboTax or similar, your refund amount would go to them. They would then process the refund to your account – whatever you have on file with them. The good news is that you can go ahead and update your information with the Get My Payment tool if the refund has not gone through yet. This way, you can direct it to your own account.
I have heard that if you have an emerald card from H&R Block, the refund will be deposited to it.
Did You File 2018 or 2019 Taxes?
If you had not filed for 2018 or 2019 (and are not required to file), you can go online to this IRS website to fill in the information needed to process your refund. Also, if you receive Social Security or SSDI, you will get your refund but it may come as a check. To change that, you can go to this IRS website to add your direct deposit information or at least make sure your account information is correct.
If you are required to file your taxes, you will need to file for 2019 to get your payment. Here are the filing requirements.
Did You Receive a Different Amount Than Expected?
There was a story of an Indiana man that received an $8 million payout but that is definitely not going to be a mistake anyone else will have! But, maybe you did receive a deposit that was different than what you had expected.
There could be a couple of reasons for that but one big one is if you have a dependent on your 2019 taxes that was not present on your 2018 taxes. In this case, your 2019 taxes may not have been processed yet so the IRS would have used the information from your 2018 return.
This calculator was developed by Maciej Kowalski, PhD candidate and Jasmine J Mah and available at Omni Calculator
“Why am I Getting ‘Payment Status Not Available’?”
If you are one of the millions of Americans who tried out the tool on Wednesday, you may have been disappointed to find that it said your payment status was not available. Here are some things to know, direct from the IRS.
One is that the information on that account is only updated once a day. Checking too many times will lock you out for the rest of the day so just be patient and try in the morning and at night to see if your information has been updated.
Here are reasons the IRS provides as to why you may be receiving the “Payment Status Not Available” message:
- If you are not eligible for a payment (see IRS.gov on who is eligible and who is not eligible)
- If you are required to file a tax return and have not filed in tax year 2018 or 2019.
- If you recently filed your return or provided information through Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info on IRS.gov. Your payment status will be updated when processing is completed.
- If you are a SSA or RRB Form 1099 recipient, SSI or VA benefit recipient – the IRS is working with your agency to issue your payment; your information is not available in this app yet.
You can check the app again to see whether there has been an update to your information. Get My Payment data is updated once per day, so there’s no need to check back more frequently.
What If Your Money Went to the Wrong Account?
There are some reports that the money for some people had gone to wrong accounts and that even dead people were receiving payments. First of all, use the Get My Payment tool to check and see if your deposit was processed.
If it was, it will show the last 4 digits of your bank account used. If it is an account you do not recognize, you will need to check your information with the IRS to determine where it went. If it is a bank account that was closed, it will bounce back and the IRS will issue you a check to the address on your return. If you had not filed a return, fill in your information here.
I am not a financial professional but just trying to help provide some information for the thousands of people who have found themselves here searching for information. Hopefully, this post will give some help if you had some questions. If you have other questions, leave them below and maybe some people with similar experiences will be able to help out.