BATON ROUGE, La. (BRProud) — About 20 million Americans are still waiting to receive their stimulus payment, according to the latest numbers from the Internal Revenue Service. Some taxpayers are concerned about the hold-up and unsure of how to contact the IRS since the agency’s phone assistance is shut down due to the pandemic.
Payments started going out last week to Social Security beneficiaries, railroad retirees and veterans who aren’t required to file a tax return. The payments will continue through May and should reach the recipient by the same method in which they receive other benefits, be it direct deposit, mail or Direct Express card.
For anyone else not required to file a tax return, including low-income individuals, you’re encouraged to file basic information on the IRS website.
Anyone who is eligible but does not have direct deposit information on file with the IRS will be mailed a check. These began going out in late April, but the process may take several months due to a tiered distribution based on income.
If your address has changed since filing your 2018 return, you should file your 2019 tax return with your new address, so the IRS can update its records. Additionally, make sure to file a change of address form with the U.S. Post Office, to ensure your government check is forwarded.
The quickest, and most efficient way to update your address however, is through the Get My Payment portal.
The IRS recently made an upgrade to the site, so if you’ve received an error message, as many people have reported in the past, now is the time to try again.
Hint: Use CAPS LOCK when filling in the form. See below for additional tips.
Once the IRS has your direct deposit information, you should see a page giving you the status of your payment. To clarify, there may be a two week lapse between the time you enter your bank account information and the IRS provides you with a specific deposit date.
If the IRS doesn’t have your direct deposit information, and you are eligible to receive one, the website tool will allow you to enter your bank account’s routing and account numbers so the payment can go directly to your bank account.
Hints for navigating the Get My Payment tool:
- Make sure the information you enter is exactly as it appears on the tax form you’re referencing. This includes name, address and adjusted gross income (you can’t round up/down, nor estimate). Look for minor differences, like Blvd. versus spelling out Boulevard.
- Several users told the LA Times, they had success when using ALL CAPS.
- Removing punctuation may also help, according to the IRS.
- If all of the above fail, consider using your 2018 tax return data.
A word of warning: Three unsuccessful attempts to log-on in one day will leave a user locked out of Get My Payment for 24 hours as a security measure.