WHAT HAPPENED TO
MY STIMULUS CHECK?
IRS sent out stimulus payments to millions of Americans in the forms of direct deposit, checks and in some cases debit cards. Still waiting for your payment? So are millions more taxpayers.
Most tax returns are filed electronically now however some taxpayers still file by paper. IRS chose to put returns filed by paper on a back burner and as the COVID ramped up, IRS started piling all incoming mail into trailer trucks. At the time this post was written, IRS reported that an estimated five million pieces of mail was backed up waiting for someone to open them. If you filed your tax returns on paper, you’re likely in that mass of unopened mail and until your returns are in the system, your stimulus check could be delayed.
IRS began opening their services centers again on June 1 with the Utah, Texas and Kentucky service centers. Offices scheduled to open approximately June 15 are in Georgia, Michigan, Missouri and Tennessee. Offices scheduled to open by June 29 are located in California, Oregon, Indiana, Ohio, and Puerto Rico. All employees returning to these locations will be those deemed required to do their work in office and not by telecommuting. Staffing will be limited and wait times for help from IRS will be long and frustrating.
What does this mean for your stimulus payment? These are the people that will be opening the mail to process your paper return, apply the checks you mailed to them or answer any letters sent to IRS. It’s going to be a hurry up and wait situation until IRS gets their act together before you can hope to see your payment.
Tax payers that are delinquent in their child support payment will have any stimulus payments seized to pay the back payments due for their child support. IRS will not seize the payment for back taxes owed.
MARRIED TO AN NON-CITIZEN IMMIGRANT
IRS reports that any taxpayer filing married joint with a non-citizen immigrant who does not have a Social Security number will not receive any stimulus payments. The CARES Act was written so that any taxpayers who file with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), rather than a SSN are not eligible for stimulus payments — including ITIN holders who file jointly with U.S. citizens who do have SSNs.
ITINs are assigned by the IRS to collect taxes from workers who are not eligible to receive SSNs. Many ITIN holders are undocumented workers in the US, while others are applying for citizenship or a green card.
The result is that the entire stimulus payment is denied including for the citizen spouse and any children.
IRS sent a number of payments in the form of a debit card to those taxpayers that were not able to provide sufficient information to either receive direct deposit or a check. The debit card was mailed in a plain envelope without any indication that it was coming from the government. This led to many of the cards being thrown out as junk mail. IRS explains the card program here:
IRS is only required to send you letters, notices, checks, etc. to the last known address they have on record for you. It is your responsibility to update IRS when you move so that you do not miss any important information. If you moved, your check may have gone to a previous address. Change of address may be submitted to IRS on their form 8822.
PAYMENT LOST OR RECEIVED LETTER STATING IT WAS SENT, BUT DID NOT RECEIVE
IRS has a contact method to try to locate a truly lost, stolen, destroyed or otherwise not received stimulus payment. You must wait five days after the deposit described in the letter telling how and when your stimulus payment was sent. Per the IRS website:
“If Get My Payment shows your Payment was issued but you have not received it and it has been more than 5 days since the scheduled deposit date (or more than 4 weeks since it was mailed by check (6 weeks if you have a forwarding address on file with the local post office; 9 weeks if you have a foreign address)), you should initiate a trace on your Payment by calling the IRS at 800-919-9835 or you may submit Form 3911 (PDF). If you call, please be advised that you may experience long wait times or recorded assistance due to limited staffing. If you submit the form and you are Married Filing Joint, both spouses must sign the form.”
IRS provides the following link to check on your stimulus payments.