Coronavirus Payment Status Still Not Available? 9 Tricks to Try
If you haven’t gotten your coronavirus stimulus check, you may feel like the only person in America who’s still waiting.
And the waiting is even more frustrating for those who can’t track their money using the Get My Payment feature on the IRS website. Two weeks after the first checks started arriving, many people report they’re still seeing Payment Status Not Available when they check the status.
Fortunately, we have a few hacks you can try.
Still Can’t Track Your Coronavirus Check? 9 Tricks That Could Work
Many people can’t track their payment because they filed their tax return or used the non-filer tool too recently. People on Social Security or SSI who don’t file tax returns won’t be able to use Get My Payment.
But if none of this applies? We don’t have a single magic-bullet solution for tracking your coronavirus check, but here are some solutions that have worked for others.
1. Put Your Address in ALL CAPS
YES, THIS REALLY WORKED FOR SOME PEOPLE. Many people are still getting “Payment Status Not Available” because their answers to the security questions on Get My Payment aren’t matching with what the IRS has — and some issues appear to be due to discrepancies in how addresses are written.
If you’re still getting “Payment Status Not Available,” try entering your address in ALL CAPS.
After LA Times reporter Jessica Roy tweeted on Sunday that she’d finally been able to log in and enter her bank account info after using ALL CAPS, hundreds of people responded that the trick worked for them too.
2. Enter Your Apartment Number Like This
Some users have reported that they were finally able to use Get My Payment after they entered their apartment number with the word “Unit” before it, rather than the # sign, e.g., Unit 101 instead of #101. Others have said they were able to get their payment status once they dropped the apartment number altogether from their addresses.
3. Look at How Your Address Is Written on Your Tax Return
Mashable reports that some users have been able to log in when they used an abbreviation for their street name (“St” instead of “Street” or “Ave” vs. “Avenue”).
The IRS suggests looking at your most recent tax return and entering your address exactly how it’s formatted there. You can also use the USPS ZIP Lookup tool and provide your address using the same formatting.
4. Enter $0 if You Didn’t Owe or Get a Refund
If the IRS needs your banking information for direct deposit, Get My Payment will prompt you to provide your adjusted gross income and the amount of your refund or tax bill from your last return. But at first, the system wouldn’t accept $0 as an answer for refunds or taxes owed, so people who didn’t owe taxes or get a refund were rejected.
On April 26, the IRS announced that this was one of several Get My Payment issues it recently fixed. Now, you can select either “I received a refund” or “I owed money” and enter $0.
Note that you can only provide your banking information if the IRS doesn’t have a bank account on file for you and your payment hasn’t been scheduled. You can’t update your bank account using Get My Payment.
5. If You Can Use Get My Payment, Enter Your Deposit Info by Tuesday
Provided that you can log onto the Get My Payment tool: If you enter your deposit info by noon on Tuesday of any week, you’ll be able to track your payment by the following Saturday, the IRS said in an April 26 update to its Get My Payment FAQ.
6. Try Again if Your Check Was Deposited to the Wrong Bank
If your check was deposited to the wrong bank account, your bank will send the payment back to the IRS and you’ll get a paper check. Because of the recent upgrade, you can now use Get My Payment to track your check if your deposit is rejected.
The good news is that the IRS now says rejected deposits will be mailed via paper check within 14 days to the address they have on file — meaning you could get your coronavirus payment sooner than many others who get paper checks.
7. … but Don’t Do Any of the Above Multiple Times in 24 Hours
If you’re trying any of the first six solutions, you’ll need to limit your daily log-ins.
The IRS limits you to three failed log-in attempts in a 24-hour period to prevent fraud. You’re also limited to five log-ins per 24-hour period because so many people are flocking to the IRS website at once.
8. Use USPS App to Track Your Paper Check
It won’t help you figure out whether the IRS is processing your check, but if you’re getting a paper check, the free USPS Informed Delivery service could let you know once it’s on its way. The Postal Service will send you a picture of letter-size mail that’s scheduled for delivery to your home.
9. Try the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Tool
If you’ve tried everything but still can’t get your coronavirus payment status? You could use a new feature on the IRS Taxpayer Advocate website.
It won’t tell you if you’re eligible for a payment or give you information specific to your check. But it will ask you a few questions to help you figure out if any action is needed on your part.
Robin Hartill is a certified financial planner and a senior editor at Codetic. She writes the Dear Penny personal finance advice column.