What is IRS's Get My Payment tool: How it works?
Photo: KTLA

Americans wanting to know the status of their third stimulus check can now check using an online portal, Alabama cites.

The “Get My Payment” tool on the IRS.gov website went live on March 13 and can help track your payments. Initially, the IRS said the online portal wouldn't be available until March 14.

The IRS announced over the weekend the third round of stimulus checks, officially known as Economic Impact Payments, will be reaching Americans. The first batch will be sent direct deposit – some reported their payments arrived over the weekend – with more coming in the following weeks. Additional batches will follow through the mail as a check or debit card.

The vast majority of payments will come via direct deposit, the IRS announced.

The recently passed American Rescue Plan Act includes payments of up to $1,400 for individuals and dependents and $2,800 for married couples. Individuals earning up to $75,000 or couples earning up to $150,000 are eligible for the full amounts. The payments will phase out above those income levels with individuals who earn more than $80,000 or couples who earn more than $160,000 ineligible for payments.

Adjusted Gross Income used to determine eligibility will come from 2019 or 2020 tax returns.

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What the IRS Get My Payment tool will tell you

The IRS tracking tool, called Get My Payment, is designed to share the status of your third stimulus check, which was approved as part of President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion relief package. To get the status of your third check, enter your Social Security number, date of birth, street address and ZIP code. The tool will then display a message with information about your payment.

The “Get My Payment” tool will allow you to confirm that:

1. Whether the IRS has sent your second stimulus payment.

2. Whether the IRS sent your first stimulus payment. Not that some people received their first stimulus in partial payments; if you received partial payments, the tool will show only the most recent.

3. Whether to expect your stimulus payment by direct deposit or mail.

IRS told that data is updated once per day overnight, so there's no need to check more than once per day, Forbes cites.

What is IRS's Get My Payment tool: How it works?
Photo: Crumpe

The IRS won't give you this information

1. How much stimulus money you're getting (calculate here)

2. Details about the first two stimulus checks approved in 2020.

3. Hourly updates -- the status information is updated once daily and usually overnight.

4. Steps for what to do if you run into an issue.

The IRS doesn't want you to call if you have a payment problem. The agency says its representatives don't have information beyond what's shown in the tool. Here's what we recommend doing to address a stimulus issue, reported CNET.

What if you have trouble with the tool?

To use the Get My Payment tool, you must first verify your identity by answering security questions. If the information you enter does not match IRS records, you will receive an error message. To avoid this:

1. Double-check the information requested;

2. Make sure what you enter is accurate;

3. Try entering your street address in a different way (for example: 123 N Main St instead of 123 North Main St.); and

4. Use the US Postal Service’s ZIP Lookup tool to look up the standard version of your address, and enter it into exactly as it appears on file with the Postal Service.

If your answers do not match the IRS records three times, you’ll be locked out of Get My Payment for security reasons. If that happens, you must wait 24 hours and try again. If you can’t verify your identity, you won’t be able to use Get My Payment. Unfortunately, there’s no fix for that: the IRS says not to not contact them.

However, if you verified your identity and received “Payment Status Not Available,” this means that the IRS cannot determine your eligibility for a payment right now. There are several reasons this could happen, including:

1. You didn’t file either a 2018 or 2019 tax return; or

2. Your recently filed return has not been fully processed.

Again, the IRS says there’s no fix for that and you should not contact them.

FAQs about IRS's Get My Payment tool:

1. You can't use Get My Payment to register for or correct direct deposit account information

If you don't have a direct deposit account already set up with the federal government, the IRS tool doesn't have a feature to add it. That's a departure from the first stimulus check. Even if the IRS is unable to deliver your payment to a bank account and it's returned, you won't be able to correct the details online -- the IRS says it will resend the money in the mail.

2. What does "Payment Status Not Available" response mean?

Don't be alarmed if the Get My Payment tool gives you a message that says "Payment Status Not Available." You may see this message until your payment is processed, according to the IRS. So, you don't have to do anything.

However, it could also mean you're not eligible for a payment, according to the IRS. So you may want to double-check your eligibility and plug in your numbers in our stimulus check calculator to see if you are due money.

3. "Need More Information"?

According to the IRS FAQ for the 2021 payment, a "Need More Information" message in the Get My Payment tool means your payment was returned because the US Postal Service wasn't able to deliver it.

4. The Get My Payment tool says you received your check, but you actually didn't. Here's what to know

If the IRS' online tool said the agency has issued your stimulus money, but you have no record of it in your bank account and it never arrived in your mailbox, you may need to take one of these steps, including possibly filing a stimulus check payment trace, as long as you've waited the requisite time. You'll need to have the letter the IRS sent you. It can take 15 days for the letter to arrive in the mail.

5. You're still missing stimulus money from the first or second payments. What can you do now?

The IRS is no longer automatically sending out the first and second payments. If you believe you're still owed money from either of those payment rounds, your best chance of claiming those funds is to file for the Recovery Rebate Credit as part of the tax season 2020.

If you're eligible, you'll need to know the amount of money the IRS allotted you, which you can find out online or from the letter the agency mailed. The IRS said the updated Get My Payment tracker won't give you information on the first and second checks. Instead, you need to set up and check your IRS account for information on those two payments.

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