An IRS payment trace could find your missing stimulus money. Here’s how to get one

We’ll tell you the right time to request a Payment Trace from the IRS for your no-show stimulus check.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Never received your second stimulus check? Nearly two weeks have passed since the IRS and US Treasury stopped sending out the second payment of up to $600 per person, but millions of people are experiencing delays or other issues preventing their check from arriving. To find out where your money is, you should first check the IRS’ payment status tool. Depending on what it tells you, you may need to take another step to track down your cash. 

For most people, that means you’ll need to claim your missing money on your 2020 tax return, as a Recovery Rebate Credit (here’s how to file that claim, even if you don’t usually file taxes). But in certain cases, you’ll need to contact the IRS and request something called a Payment Trace to find your missing funds. (You can use our stimulus calculator to estimate the amount of money you should have received in your check.) 

Here’s everything you need to know about what an IRS Payment Trace is, the two cases when you may need

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