An online tool can help tell you when your stimulus money is coming.James Martin/CNET
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You have options if your stimulus check still hasn't arrived. You can of course keep waiting for your coronavirus payment to show up. You could decide to take action and contact the IRS about your missing check. Or you can use the IRS' free, online tracking tool called Get My Payment to try to find out what's going on yourself.
This IRS portal is designed to show you if the IRS is still processing your money or has scheduled it to go out. It will also tell you if your stimulus payment will arrive in the mail as a paper check or prepaid debit card, or through direct deposit to your bank account if you had set that up before May 13. Finally, it will alert you to any problems you may need to address before the IRS can give your check the go-ahead.
Note that Get My Payment isn't perfect, and in the past, people have experienced some issues -- since then the IRS has upgraded its tool. It also isn't a crystal ball, so you may still need to do some digging to uncover what's happening in your exact scenario. We'll explain how to use Get My Payment, including the details you should have on hand before you begin.
For more information about stimulus checks, here's what to do if you think. Plus, these are the latest details about a second round of stimulus checks and how much money you might get. We update this story often.
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What to do before you use the Get My Payment toolThe 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 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 using the IRS tracker, you could also sign up for a free service from the post office that tells you exactly when your stimulus check will arrive in the mail.
Is the stimulus check here yet? How about now? But what about now?Sarah Tew/CNET
How to track the status and arrival of your IRS stimulus check
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.
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.
Now playing: Watch this: Stimulus Checks Helpline
Is my status information 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 qualify for stimulus money
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.
Can I find out 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.
Did you try the US Postal Service mail-tracking app?
Here's another way to track your check in the mail.
If you're waiting for your stimulus payment to arrive in the mail -- either as a paper check or a prepaid debit card -- the US Postal Service has a free app that can notify you when it's about to deliver your letter from the IRS. Called Informed Delivery, the mail-tracking service automatically scans your letters and can alert you when they'll be delivered. Here's more on how to set up and use the letter-tracking service from the USPS to track your payment.