The IRS started sending coronavirus stimulus checks in April.Angela Lang/CNET
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If you're asking when the IRS will send you your stimulus check, that's a good question. The government agency has stopped accepting new direct deposit submissions, so you won't receive your payment in your bank account if the IRS didn't already have your information on file by May 13. You can, however, still use the agency's online portal to view when you'll get your payment. Even if you submitted your banking details before the May 13 deadline, however, you may still receive a paper check in the mail.
We're going to explain what you need to know about the IRS' Get My Payment tool to help you track your coronavirus relief money. And here's more information about those $1,200 stimulus checks, if you need a refresher.
One word of warning: Soon after it became available, the IRS' Get My Payment app turned up a dozen common problems. Now, CNET readers confirm that a fix to the IRS tracker website has made the tool much more streamlined. While still not perfect, it should work better at telling you more about your economic relief check.
Keep track of the coronavirus pandemic.
Read on for more information about how it works. And if you're wondering about a second round of stimulus checks, here's what we know so far. This story updates often with the latest news.
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 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 Social Security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (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.
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How do I know if my check is in the mail?
In April, the IRS began transferring the first stimulus payments to the accounts of tens of millions of US residents who've set up direct deposit with the government. But not everyone gets an electronic transfer.
Till all the checks go out, the Get My Payment app can tell you when your payment will be issued and how. The IRS will also mail you letter about 15 days after it issues your payment, with information on the amount you received and how you received it.
How do I know that my status information is accurate and what if I get an error message?
Unfortunately, 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.
The IRS once a day updates its status tracking information on who has and hasn't received a payment.
You don't need to sign up to receive 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.