Still no third stimulus check? Here’s what to do

Coronavirus

Did you file 2020 taxes and still not receive a stimulus check? Here are some possible explanations.

CLEVELAND (WJW) — While many people received their stimulus payment this week as a result of the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 recovery bill, some people are still waiting for their direct deposit.

Telephone assistance

The Internal Revenue Service is offering telephone assistance at 800-919-9835 for people who have questions about their economic impact payment, though the agency said the “IRS live phone assistance is extremely limited at this time.”

According to the IRS, here are a few possible reasons your payment might be delayed:

IRS backlog

According to Michael Hunsche, the managing director of Hunsche CPA Group/Management and Tax Services, the biggest issue is that the IRS, which is set up to be a collection agency and not a payment agency, is simply overwhelmed.

“They’re trying to issue stimulus payments in their busiest time of year, and you’ve got millions of people filing tax returns at the same time that they’re trying to get something that they were never set up to do in the first place,” said Hunsche. “It’s really just made the IRS more of a mess than they already are.”

You haven’t filed your taxes yet

If you have not filed a 2020 tax return, then the IRS will use your 2019 tax return to determine your eligibility for the stimulus check.

“That would be what they’d be basing everything off of, and if you didn’t do the direct deposit with your refund or if you didn’t get a refund, it’s possible that they don’t even have a bank account on file,” said Hunsche.

Lacking a recently filed tax return is one obstacle people experiencing homelessness face in trying to secure the COVID relief check.

People without an online bank account to receive a direct deposit or a fixed, physical address for a physical stimulus check are at a greater disadvantage when it comes to receiving the payment.

In October of 2020, the IRS recommended that people experiencing homelessness could qualify for a stimulus check by using the Non-Filer: Enter Payment Info Here tool.

Those people who missed the non-filer deadline of Nov. 21, 2020, were told to file a tax return and request the stimulus payment as a recovery rebate credit.

You filed your taxes by paper

Hunsche said if you did not file your tax return electronically, it likely hasn’t been processed yet.

You moved or changed bank accounts

This actually happened to Hunsche with the second round of payments.

“We had moved, so when the IRS wants to issue the second round of stimulus payments for the direct deposit, the information that they had for me personally was no longer what my bank account was showing, so I assume that’s why we didn’t get our direct deposit,” he said.

He said this could cause the IRS to send paper payments or checks instead of doing direct desposit.

Your income went up in 2020 compared to 2019

The payments start declining for an individual once adjusted gross income exceeds $75,000 and go to zero once income hits $80,000. The payment starts declining for married couples when income exceeds $150,000 and goes to zero at $160,000.

If you owe money, such as child support

Hunsche’s advice to those eager to get their checks is to be patient.

“If you don’t get it today, it’s not the end of the world. It’ll probably still come,” he said. “Generally, by about the end of the month, everybody should start seeing their payments, or at least be notified of what’s going on as to why you didn’t get your direct deposit today.”

He said you’d most likely be notified by a letter in the mail.

To track the status of your payment, click here.

Social Security (SSI) recipients are still waiting

According to the IRS, the third round of economic stimulus, known to the Treasury as “EIP3”, will be “sent to people who didn’t file a return but receive Social Security retirement, survivor or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Veterans Affairs benefits. This is similar to the first and second rounds of Economic Impact Payments, often referred to as EIP1 and EIP2.”

The IRS has not confirmed the official payment date. Social Security recipients will get the payment the same way they would normally receive Social Security benefits.

“For those who received EIP1 or EIP2 but don’t receive a payment via direct deposit, they will generally receive a check or, in some instances, a prepaid debit card (referred to as an EIP card). A payment will not be added to an existing EIP card mailed for the first or second round of stimulus payments,” the IRS says.

While the payment date for many recipients was March 18, a specific date for Social Security recipients has not been confirmed.

Hunsche’s advice to those eager to get their checks is to be patient.

“Generally, by about the end of the month, everybody should start seeing their payments, or at least be notified of what’s going on as to why you didn’t get your direct deposit today,” he said.

He said you’d most likely be notified by a letter in the mail.