Stimulus check tracker app: How to use the IRS Get My Payment portal

An online tool can help tell you when your stimulus money is coming.

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Have you been waiting months for your stimulus check, and you still don’t know how much you’re getting and when your money will arrive? If you’ve not tried it yet, you may want to head to the IRS’ online tracking tool to see if your stimulus payment has been scheduled, or if something is holding it up. 

And if you first tried the tool when the IRS opened it up, but didn’t get the answer you needed, you might want to give it another chance. The IRS has made some changes since the earliest days of the Get My Payment tool, to help fix some common problems people reported. We’ll explain how to use the portal, including the details you should have on hand before you begin. 

Overall, Get My Payment can help answer questions about when you’re scheduled to receive your funds, and if they’ll arrive as a paper check or a prepaid debit card. (It’s less likely you’ll get your payment as a direct deposit to your bank account, since the cutoff to sign up was mid-May.) The tool can also tell you if something is delaying your stimulus money, such as if you need to provide more information before the IRS can process your payment. The checks top out at $1,200 per person and vary based on your income.

For more information about stimulus checks, here’s what to do if you think your payment might not arrive at all, and this is the latest on a second round of stimulus checks. We update this story often.

Things to know before you begin with the Get My Payment tool

  • The tool will ask for your Social Security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), your date of birth, your street address and your ZIP or postal code.
  • The IRS is sending payments on a schedule. Think of it as batches of payments that get sent at once, rather than individually. The Get My Payment tool can ballpark your scheduled date.
  • The IRS updates its status tracking information on who has and hasn’t received a payment once a day. 
  • You should receive a letter about 15 days after the IRS issues your payment, with information on the amount you received and how you received it.

After tracking your payment status with the IRS, you might also consider signing up for the US Postal Service app, which will notify you when your payment will arrive in the mail.

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How to track the status and arrival of your stimulus check from the IRS 

If you’re eligible for a check, the IRS lets you track your payment schedule through its Get My Payment web portal. Some people have reported having trouble using the portal, and the IRS said it has significantly improved the Get My Payment app to help you set up and track the date of your stimulus payment.

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1. Head to the IRS’ Get My Payment page and tap the blue Get My Payment button to check the status of your economic impact payment. 

2. On the next page about authorized use, tap OK.

3. Now on the Get My Payment page, enter your SSN or ITIN, your date of birth, your street address and your ZIP or postal code. Tap Continue.

On the next page, the portal will show your payment status, whether it’s been scheduled or if the service can’t yet determine your status.

How do I know if my check is in the mail?

The IRS deadline to set up direct deposit with the government passed on May 13. If you didn’t set up your account, you’ll most likely get your check in the mail.

While most people will receive a paper check, the Treasury Department said 4 million people will get an Economic Impact Payment, or EIP, prepaid debit card instead (and as of the first week of June, it said these payments have been made). We’ve asked the US Treasury to clarify who gets a check and who gets a debit card.

How do I know that my status information is accurate and what if I get an error message?

You may see confusing messages when using the status tool — so much so that the IRS explains common status messages in an FAQ. You may get a message if it’s impossible to determine your eligibility, for example, or your payment status is not available. We’re looking into it, but so far we’ve unearthed a handful of reasons why Get My Payment may not be able to track your payment status. 

You don’t need to sign up to receive stimulus money

To receive the stimulus payment, you may need to file a tax return for 2018 or 2019 if you are normally required to. You can still do that now. Here’s how.

Senior citizens, Social Security recipients, railroad retirees and other beneficiaries who typically aren’t required to file tax returns will not need to file one to receive a payment.

Again, the agency will mail a letter to a taxpayer’s last known address within 15 days after sending the payment. The letter will contain information on when and how the payment was made and how to report to the IRS if you didn’t receive your check. 

For more on the stimulus checks, here’s how best to use your stimulus check. And here’s everything you need to know about the coronavirus and unemployment.

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