9 delays that could hold up your stimulus check – CNET

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The IRS started sending stimulus payments in April.


Angela Lang/CNET

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            For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the <a href="https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019" rel="noopener noreferrer nofollow" target="_blank" data-component="externalLink">WHO website</a>.
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        <p class="speakableTextP1">If you're eligible for a <span class="link"><a href="https://www.cnet.com/how-to/coronavirus-and-covid-19-all-your-questions-answered/" data-component="linkTracker" data-link-tracker-options="{"action":"link_anchor"}">coronavirus</a></span> <span class="link" section="shortcodeLink"><a href="https://www.cnet.com/news/stimulus-check-you-could-receive-a-prepaid-debit-card-how-to-find-your-payment-schedule/">stimulus check</a></span> from the IRS, but your payment hasn't arrived, we can't fault you for asking, "Where's my money?" A handful of issues could be causing a delay in your payment. These relief checks from the federal government are part of a bill to provide US residents with extra money to help offset the pandemic's <span class="link" section="shortcodeLink"><a href="https://www.cnet.com/news/us-recession-unemployment-the-current-situation-and-where-to-get-help/">worsening economic effects</a></span>. A bill for a <span class="link" section="shortcodeLink"><a href="https://www.cnet.com/news/a-second-stimulus-check-is-in-the-works-how-much-you-could-get-with-round-2/">second round of stimulus checks</a></span> is already in negotiation.</p><p class="speakableTextP2">Your stimulus check will arrive as either as a direct deposit to your bank account if you <span class="link" section="shortcodeLink"><a href="https://www.cnet.com/news/direct-deposit-is-done-heres-what-happens-now-with-your-irs-stimulus-check/">set that up before the May 13 cutoff</a></span>, or in the mail. The IRS will either send you a paper check or a <span class="link" section="shortcodeLink"><a href="https://www.cnet.com/news/coronavirus-stimulus-checks-prepaid-card-payment-schedule-eligibility-and-more/">mailed prepaid debit card</a></span>. </p><div class="newsletter-subscribe-form desktop  -inline " section="subscribeNewsletter" data-track="newsletter" readability="6">

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The payment process has been bumpy at times, with CNET readers reporting the IRS told them their checks were mailed or deposited weeks ago but they still haven't received them, or they updated their banking information using the IRS Get My Payment portal in April and still can't see the status of their payment.

If you've checked the IRS Get My Payment portal and haven't found the answers you're looking for, here's what we know about possible reasons your check is taking its sweet time to get to you.

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<h2>Check to make sure you're really eligible</h2>Here's who's eligible to receive a <span class="link" section="shortcodeLink"><a href="https://www.cnet.com/news/stimulus-check-you-could-receive-a-prepaid-debit-card-how-to-find-your-payment-schedule/">stimulus payment</a></span>:</p><ul><li>You're a single US resident and have an adjusted gross income less than $99,000</li><li>You file as the head of a household and earn under $146,500</li><li>You file jointly without children and earn less than $198,000</li><li>You are the parent of child aged 16 or younger</li></ul><div class="newsletter-subscribe-form desktop  -inline " section="subscribeNewsletter" data-track="newsletter" readability="6">

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The IRS has scheduled your payment for later in the year

While the IRS has sent out 140 million payments already, it still has as many as 10 million more to go. In April, the IRS estimated (PDF) it could take up to 20 weeks to send every payment out and it is prioritizing the payment schedule by sending checks to those with lowest incomes first. Depending on your adjusted gross income, you may have weeks and possibly several months to wait, according to the IRS plan.

The IRS is sending your payment through the mail

The IRS made a big push to get everyone who was eligible for a check signed up for direct deposit by May 13. The benefit of direct deposit, the IRS said, was you'd get your check quicker than through the mail. Now that the deadline is passed, the IRS said it will start sending paper checks and debit cards to those it doesn't have banking information for, from the end of May through June.

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You'll want to check your inbox.


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The IRS started processing your paper check before you submitted your direct deposit information

If the IRS was already preparing to mail your paper check when you provided your banking information online, you'll still receive your check in the mail. The IRS said it can typically take up to 14 days to receive the payment in this situation.

The banking information the IRS has for you is out of date or no longer valid

The IRS said it's using banking information from your 2018 or 2019 tax return to send your payment. Some tax preparers, however, set up temporary accounts for their clients to receive their returns, such as to a prepaid debit card. If this is the information the IRS has for you, the agency said the payment will be returned and reprocessed. 

If for whatever reason, the banking information the IRS has for you is not valid, the agency says it will mail you your check. The IRS said to check its Get My Payment tool for updates.

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<h2>Your bank had trouble processing the direct deposit</h2>If your bank couldn't process the electronic money transfer from the IRS, the payment was returned and the IRS is now mailing your check to the most current address it has on file, either from a 2019 or 2018 tax return or one from the Postal Service.</p><h2>You owe child support</h2><p>If you are past-due on child support, the IRS said your payment may be reduced or completely deducted. If that happens, the Bureau of the Fiscal Service will send you a notice.</p><h2>A claimed dependent is not eligible for a payment</h2><p>Parents who are not married to each other and do not file a joint return cannot both claim a qualifying child as a dependent. The parent who claimed their child on their 2019 return may receive the payment. Likewise, dependent college students do not qualify for a payment.</p><h2>You need to file a nonfilers form</h2><p>If you are eligible for a payment but because of low income didn't need to file a tax return for 2018 or 2019, you may need to use the IRS' nonfilers tool to give the agency your information. If you think that is you, <a href="https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer nofollow" data-component="externalLink">head to the IRS' website</a>, check the requirements and then provide some basic information to get your stimulus check.

To assist you with potential problems regarding your payment, the IRS starting adding 3,500 telephone representatives to help navigate the common issues the week of May 18. The representatives won't be able to help with specific problems with your payment, however.

As you try to discover the status of your stimulus check, here's what we know about a second round of stimulus checkshow best to use your stimulus check and how to avoid being scammed.

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