Moved? Tell the IRS and USPS where to send your stimulus check, tax refund

With a tax refund and third stimulus check possibly on the way soon, make sure you’re set up to receive them.

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you’re planning to move or you already have, you’ll need to add two items to your checklist: Inform the USPS of your new address, and do the same with the IRS when you file your tax return, even if it’s temporary. This is so you can receive any missing stimulus money from the first or second check, as well as your tax refund so that it won’t be sent to your old address. (Here’s how to calculate the amount you could receive with a second or third check.) 

Even if you already got your $600 stimulus payment, President Joe Biden is working with Congress to pass a third stimulus check, potentially with as much as a $1,400-per-person maximum. If it gets approved, you’ll want your correct address on file to receive your money.

If you think you might receive your payment through direct deposit, this applies to you, too. You’ll want to make sure you get the IRS letter verifying when it sent your payment. This is important for anyone who may be eligible for a stimulus check and is experiencing an unexpected holdup receiving their check, and it contains information on how to reach out to the IRS. For now, though, here’s how to file a change of address form. This story was recently updated.

How to forward your US mail to your new address

When you first move, it’s important to forward your mail so you never miss an important document — like a stimulus check. Here’s how to do it.

1. In a browser window, visit

2. Fill out the form with your contact information, the date you’d like the mail to start forwarding and your old and new addresses. Make sure everything is accurate and click Next when you’re ready to move on. 

3. Then, you’ll need to provide your payment method. It costs $1.05 each time you forward your mailing address. Note that you can’t use a prepaid credit or debit card to do this. (Here’s some additional information on the topic.)

4. Once you’ve paid, you’ll receive an email confirmation that your change of address has been filed.

5. At your new address, look for a USPS Confirmation Notification Letter and welcome kit in the mail. USPS notes that it can take anywhere from three business days to two weeks before you start receiving your forwarded mail.

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How to inform the IRS that you moved

Once you’ve completed your change of address with USPS, you may also need to let the IRS know your new address — especially if you haven’t received the first stimulus check yet. The IRS says if you filed a 2019 tax return and didn’t provide your direct deposit information, the payment will be sent to the address on file. However, if you’ve forwarded your mail, USPS will have the updated information to get your check to you.

Read more: An IRS payment trace may find your missing stimulus money. Here’s how to get one

If you haven’t filed your taxes but plan to, use your new address. The IRS says it will update its records with your new address. If you’re typically not required to file taxes and haven’t received your first stimulus payment, the deadline has passed, but you can still claim your payment as Recovery Rebate Credit on your taxes this year. (Here’s how to file a tax extension if you won’t be able to meet the April 15 deadline.)

If you already filed your taxes and didn’t include your new address, you can notify the IRS of your address change by filling out Form 8822. You can also notify the IRS in writing at “the address where you filed your last return” by giving your full name, your old and new addresses, your Social Security number, individual taxpayer identification number or employer identification number, and your signature. The IRS says you can also do this by phone, but they may request additional information. Note that it can take four to six weeks for your change of address to be processed by the IRS.

For more information about stimulus checks, here’s what the 2021 stimulus bill could contain, three reasons to sign up for direct deposit when you file your 2020 taxes and when a new stimulus check could arrive.

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