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Where’s My Stimulus Check? How To Check If You’ve Gotten Your Money — And How To Claim It If You Haven’t

Because of an IRS error, millions of the second stimulus payments were either delayed or sent to the wrong accounts — and some people may now have to pay their 2020 taxes before they can get their money.

United States Internal Revenue Service, IRS, Check and Corner of Envelope. | Getty Images
United States Internal Revenue Service, IRS, Check and Corner of Envelope. | Getty Images

Millions of Americans are experiencing delays in receiving their stimulus checks from the recently approved $900 billion COVID-19 relief package.

The IRS and Treasury Department began sending out the new round of $600 checks on December 29, saying that eligible Americans would swiftly receive them via direct deposit, check, or, in some cases, a debit card. And while many have successfully received their Economic Impact Payments, others haven’t seen a dime yet —  because of an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) snafu.

According to tax-prep company Jackson Hewitt, millions of payments were either delayed or sent to the wrong accounts because of IRS error. The company said the mistake has affected some Jackson Hewitt customers as well as others who had temporary bank accounts set up when they filed their 2019 tax returns through TurboTax and H&R Block. 

The IRS put out a statement about the snafu Tuesday and updated it Thursday:

“Because of the speed at which the law required the IRS to issue the second round of Economic Impact Payments, some payments may have been sent to an account that may be closed or, is or no longer active, or unfamiliar. By law, the financial institution must return the payment to the IRS; they cannot hold and issue the payment to an individual when the account is no longer active.”

H&R Block said Tuesday that it “processed millions of stimulus payments to customers’ bank accounts” and that “all direct deposits are on their way,” TurboTax also alerted customers via email that they should begin to receive their payments starting January 8. Some customers confirmed receipt Friday afternoon.

But others may have to file their 2020 taxes before they receive their stimulus payments.

The IRS specified in its announcement regarding the error that if eligible Americans don’t receive the Economic Impact Payments, they should “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.”

To check the status of your payment, the agency advises for people to check the “Get My Payment” tool on its website. If the tool says "Payment Status #2 – Not Available," then you will not receive a payment and must claim it in your 2020 tax return.

Americans can start filing their 2020 taxes later this month and have until April 15th to do so.