Stimulus Check Not Received Yet? Here's What to Do

All first and second-round stimulus payments that are "legally permitted" have been issued by the Internal Revenue Service. If you are still waiting, you can check the status of your payment on the IRS website.

Those who have not received the funds—or got less than they were expecting—may still be able to claim if they qualify for the Recovery Rebate Credit and file a 2020 tax return. You should do this "even if you don't normally file," the IRS said.

The first and second-round payments were based on 2018 or 2019 tax year information. The eligibility and amount for the Recovery Rebate Credit are based on the information in your 2020 tax return, the IRS added.

Most people who are eligible for the credit have already received it.

"If we issued you the full amount of each Economic Impact Payment, you won't need to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit or include any information related to it when you file your 2020 tax return because we already issued your Recovery Rebate Credit as Economic Impact Payments," the IRS said.

Check the status of your stimulus payment

Residents can verify when and how (mail or direct deposit) their stimulus was issued by clicking on the "Get My Payment" icon at the IRS website.

"If you received more than one payment for the first round, the Get My Payment application will show you only the most recent payment information," the IRS said.

If the Get My Payment tool does not provide a payment date for your stimulus check, "a payment will not be issued and you may claim the Recovery Rebate Credit, if you're eligible."

See if you qualify for the Recovery Rebate Credit

The IRS states: "Generally, if you were a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident alien in 2020, were not a dependent of another taxpayer and have a Social Security number that is valid for employment, you are eligible for the Recovery Rebate Credit."

The credit will be reduced if your adjusted gross income exceeds the following amounts:

  • $150,000 if married and filing a joint return or filing as a qualifying widow or widower
  • $112,500 if filing as head of household or
  • $75,000 for eligible individuals filing as single or as married filing separately.

The payment is reduced by 5 percent of the amount by which a person's income exceeds the threshold.

Taxpayers can use the IRS Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet to help determine whether they are eligible.

You are not eligible for the credit if any of the following applies:

  • You may be claimed as a dependent on another taxpayer's 2020 return (for example, a child or student who may be claimed on a parent's return or a dependent parent who may be claimed on an adult child's return).
  • You do not have a Social Security number that is valid for employment issued before the due date of your 2020 tax return (including extensions). Some exceptions apply for those who file married filing jointly where only one spouse must have a valid Social Security number.
  • You are a nonresident alien.
  • You are an estate or trust.

How to calculate the Recovery Rebate Credit due

For those who file their taxes electronically, the software will help calculate the Recovery Rebate Credit amount.

"You will need the amount of any Economic Impact Payments you received to calculate your Recovery Rebate Credit amount," the IRS said.

The stimulus amounts are on the letters that accompanied the payments. Residents should have received IRS Notice 1444 for the first check and IRS Notice 1444-B are being sent for the second round.

"If you don't have your notices, you can view the amounts of your first and second Economic Impact Payments through your online account," the IRS said.

How and when will I receive my Recovery Rebate Credit?

For those eligible, their Recovery Rebate Credit will be included in their 2020 tax refund.

The IRS notes: "Generally, you will receive your refund within three weeks if you file electronically or eight weeks if you mail your return. If the IRS identifies an error in your calculation for this (or anything else reported on your return), it could cause a delay while we make any necessary corrections."

Residents can check the status of their tax refunds at the IRS website. Users must know their Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number, their filing status and the refund amount they are owed, the IRS said.

Stimulus check in U.S. April 2020
A stimulus check issued in April 2020. The Internal Revenue Service confirmed last week that all first and second-round payments had been issued. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images