May 13, 2020

Where is My Stimulus Check?

Although many people have received checks, the IRS is still working to get stimulus payments out to more Americans as quickly as possible, but with approximately 150 million checks that need to be issued, it will take some time. Fortunately, there is an order to how the checks are being sent out, and there are things you can do to check your status or provide more information to help the process.

Sending Schedule

First, the IRS is working on getting the funds to Americans via direct deposit. Most of the payments being issued to people whose account details are known by the IRS have already been distributed and the rest is scheduled to be deposited as the information is obtained.

Next, the IRS will send payments for individuals currently receiving federal benefits, such as Social Security checks, retirement or disability benefits, Railroad Retirement benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits. The stimulus payments will be issued the same way these individuals receive their regular federal benefits, whether by direct deposit, Direct Express or paper check. The Treasury has promised that all Social Security and Railroad Retirement beneficiaries will receive their benefits by early May. SSI and VA beneficiaries should get their payments by mid-May.

On April 24, the IRS began issuing paper checks to Americans who have not provided their banking details. Lower income brackets are prioritized, so individuals earning an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $10,000 or less should have already received their checks. The IRS will then send out approximately 5 million paper checks each week, scheduling the mailings according to incomes in increasing $10,000 increments. For example, checks for individuals with an AGI that falls between $20,000 and $30,000 were mailed out on May 1. On May 8, the checks for people with incomes between $30,000 and $40,000 will be mailed out. This schedule will continue through Sept. 4.

How can I make my stimulus money get here quicker?

As mentioned, funds being distributed via direct deposit are issued first. The IRS will use your most recently filed taxes to determine where to send your stimulus money and the amount you are eligible to receive. If your most recently filed returns have not yet been processed, or you’ve received your refund by paper check, the government does not have your checking account information, so your payment may be delayed.

You can update this information on the recently updated track your payment portal on the IRS website. You will need your Social Security number, the gross income of your most recent tax returns, your financial institution’s routing number (Tulsa FCU’s routing number is 303986261) and your checking account information. Once you’ve shared your account information, your stimulus payment should be scheduled for deposit within the week.

If the IRS already has your account information and you still have not received the stimulus money, or you would prefer to receive your payment by paper check, you can track your payment on the same link. The site is updated once a day.

What if my information has changed since I filed my last tax return?

If the checking account used for your most recently filed taxes has since been closed, the payment will bounce back to the IRS, which will then send a paper check to the home address it has on file from your tax returns.

To update a checking account, use the IRS payment portal to enter your current information.

If you’ve moved since filing taxes, you can choose to share your checking account information with the IRS, or to use another method which may include informing the U.S. Postal Service of a change of address.

What if I don’t file taxes?

If you are not required to file taxes and you are eligible for an Economic Impact Payment, you can still receive your check. Just enter your information here.

Why you may not qualify for a check

The CARES Act does not promise payments for every American. Dependents older than 16, individuals who do not have a Social Security number and those with an AGI above $99,000, will not be getting a stimulus payment. The threshold is higher for individuals filing as a head of household, at $136,500, and up to $198,000 for joint filers.

Watch out for stimulus scams

While the IRS urges people to update their information on the payment portal, it’s important to note that they are not reaching out to individuals. If you receive a phone call, social media post, email or text message asking for your banking information, it is likely a scam. There is also no application fee or processing fee for the Economic Impact Payments. If you’re asked to pay one, it’s also a scam.

What if I received a check for a deceased person?

The IRS updated its FAQs about the stimulus checks going out to Americans with more information on what to do if you receive a CARES Act check for someone who is deceased.

Anyone who receives a CARES Act “Economic Impact Payment” money intended for someone who is deceased must return the check to the IRS.

If you received the payment as a paper check:

  1. Write “VOID” in the endorsement line on the back of the check.
  2. Mail the voided check immediately to the appropriate IRS location.

    Those in Oklahoma should send to the IRS office in Austin:
    Austin Internal Revenue Service
    3651 S Interregional Hwy 35
    Austin, TX 78741

  3. Don’t staple, bend, or paper clip the check.
  4. Include a note stating the reason for returning the check. 

If you received the payment as a paper check and you have cashed it, OR if you received the payment as a direct deposit:

Send a personal check or money order immediately to the appropriate IRS location. Those in Oklahoma should send to the IRS office in Austin:
Austin Internal Revenue Service
3651 S Interregional Hwy 35
Austin, TX 78741

Make the check/money order payable to “U.S. Treasury,” write “2020EIP,” and the taxpayer identification number (social security number,  or individual taxpayer identification number) of the deceased recipient of the check. Include a brief explanation of the reason for returning the EIP.

The new instructions do not indicate what the consequences are or will be for failing to return stimulus money sent to a deceased relative and the IRS has not commented on possible penalties yet.

The instructions the IRS released Wednesday don’t say whether people will face consequences if they fail to return stimulus money sent to dead relatives. The IRS did not respond immediately to a request for comment on possible penalties.

Note, these return instructions also apply for recipients who are incarcerated or are a “non-resident alien,” according to the IRS. Recipients whoa are green card holders, known formally as “legal permanent residents” are still entitled to the payment.

This article is for educational purposes only. Tulsa FCU makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, or specific suitability of any information presented. Information provided should not be relied on or interpreted as legal, tax or financial advice. Nor does the information directly relate to our products and/or services terms and conditions.