Still haven’t gotten a second stimulus check? Here’s how to get your cash
Free money! Get your free money! The second round of stimulus checks started being issued as the year 2020 drew to a close. In the weeks since, many of us have received the new funds either via check or direct deposit. However, there is still a large number of people who are waiting for their stimmy – or aren’t even sure if they’re getting one.
If you belong to that second group – if you’re placing a big question mark where a second stimulus check should be – you’re probably wondering what to do next. The deadline for the IRS to deliver the second round of stimulus payments expired this past Friday, January 18th. What does that mean for you and everyone else who’s currently stimmy-less? Read on to find out!
First, take a deep breath
There’s a good chance your payment is on its way. The check could be in transit or the processing of your direct deposit could be delayed due to tax-preparing issues. With that in mind, the first thing you need to do is check with the IRS to confirm the status of your second stimulus check. Go to the IRS website and use the Get My Payment tool to get tracking information about your missing money.
The IRS Get My Payment tool will help you with basic information such as the amount you’re expecting to receive (if any), the payment schedule, and tracking information if a check has already been sent. Ideally, you’ll log in to Get My Payment and see a check has just been submitted and you can sit back & wait for it.
But what do you do if the IRS says they’ve already sent a second stimulus check to you and you haven’t received it? In that case – as well as for issues regarding direct deposits – you must request a Payment Trace. You can do it by calling the IRS at 800-919-9835. Alternatively, you can use the IRS website to find instructions for mailing or faxing a completed Form 311 – Taxpayer Statement Regarding Refund.
File for that stimmy
Another scenario could be that the IRS doesn’t show you scheduled to receive a second stimulus check. If that’s the case, you’ll have to get your stimulus check as a credit when you file your 2020 taxes. You can do this if you haven’t received the stimulus payment or if you’ve received the wrong amount. When filing, you can claim a Recovery Rebate Credit and input all the necessary information.
In order to help Americans with their taxes this year, the IRS has actually opened up Free File – a free online tax preparation software meant to help you out if you can’t afford to let TurboTax or H&R Block handle your taxes. You will be able to use this tool to file your taxes and claim your stimulus check starting on February 12th. Tax season is starting a little later this year to give the IRS time to prepare for unusual filings.
If you owe money to the IRS by the time you’re done with your taxes, your stimulus check will go toward your debt. If you are getting a tax refund instead, your stimulus check will be added to your refund. Keep in mind that the amount you receive as a stimulus depends on the amount of your annual income. Individuals who earn more than $87,000 a year aren’t supposed to get a stimulus payment.
Just like not everybody qualifies for stimulus payments, not everybody will have access to Free File. The IRS free tool is only available to people who earned $72,000 or less during 2020. On the plus side, you can also use your 2020 tax filing to correct any issues regarding the first round of stimulus checks.
Worth keeping in mind: college students and dependents over seventeen years of age are not eligible for a stimulus check. Likewise, immigrants without a Social Security number are out of luck when it comes to stimmys. And if you’re a high earner who somehow received a stimulus payment the first time around, that doesn’t guarantee you’re entitled to a second stimulus check.