Questions about your stimulus money? Start here
To help answer your questions about your Economic Impact Payment, we've pulled together some resources to help you find out where you money is, when it may be arriving, and what to do if you think you accidentally threw away one of those prepaid debit cards some taxpayers were issued.
WHERE'S MY PAYMENT? It's a question we're getting a lot, and while it's all in the hands of the IRS, we can tell you that a great place to start is with this page of the IRS website. It has lots of helpful information for taxpayers, including an FAQ section.
When entering info into their tracking tool, you may be told your information doesn't match IRS records. So far, we've found it helpful to use Rd instead of Road, so don't get discouraged if you're given an error message the first time (use abbreviations for stuff like that and see where it gets you.) Be aware, once you've successfully checked the status of your payment, you can only log in once a day. The IRS did say it would take about 20 weeks to mail out the millions and millions of payments they were supposed to send, and that started roughly around May 4. Patience is the name of the game as everyone is working as hard as they can given current conditions and this unprecedented situation.
REMEMBER! If you haven't given the IRS your bank account info, they're having to send the money through the mail and that always takes longer. You may have heard that the IRS has had limited staff, some more staff is just now returning, and there are literally truckloads of unopened mail at IRS offices... to the tune of some 10 million pieces. Things are moving slowly for them as well as everyone else.
Here the order of how the IRS decided to mail those payments:
First: direct deposit
Second: at a rate of 5 million a week (could take 20 weeks) to be issued in reverse 'adjusted gross income' order - starting with people with the lowest income first.
AM I GETTING A CHECK OR A PREPAID CARD? Well, we aren't sure who knows that, but we know we don't. The IRS issued a statement when the cards began arriving saying that nearly 4 million taxpayers are getting the prepaid cards, and that choice was determined by the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, a part of the Treasury Department that's working with the IRS to handle payment distributions. No word on what that determination was based on. When you check to see where your payment is, there's no indication (as of June 5) of what you should look for in the mail, so it's probably best to open all your mail until it arrives. You can read more about this move in our blog post from May 27.
I MAY HAVE THROWN MY CARD AWAY... NOW WHAT? Well, we found this article from Forbes that has directions to help taxpayers who may have accidentally tossed the unremarkable envelope their prepaid card was in. You can check it out here. Hopefully that helps if yours accidentally went in the bin.
MY DECEASED RELATIVE RECEIVED AN ECONOMIC IMPACT PAYMENT, WHAT DO I DO WITH IT? The IRS wants it back. This article from AARP has a link in it to the IRS website where you can find exact instructions for returning the money, including the correct IRS address for your state.