Stimulus Check Payments
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As a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic, the US government has launched three stimulus check payments during 2020 and 2021.
1. Stimulus Check Payment One: The Economic Impact Payment (EIP), CARES Act, or Stimulus Check Payment One was launched in April of 2020.
2. Stimulus Check Payment Two: The COVID-19 related Tax Relief Act of 2020 or Stimulus Check Payment Two was launched December 2020.
3. Stimulus Check Payment Three: The American Rescue Plan or Stimulus Check Payment Three was launched in March of 2021.
4. Stimulus Check Payment Four: Could there have been a fourth stimulus payment as part of the Build Back Better Plan?
- The late 2021/early 2022 Stimulus Package had been altered and changed many times, but never included a fourth stimulus payment.
- The plan had been referred to as Build Back Better, American Families Plan, American Jobs Plan, the Democrats' Reconciliation Bill, or simply President Biden's Tax Plan.
- This plan was never passed - see what could have been a part of it on this page for the fourth stimulus package plan. The IRS has confirmed that they are no longer issuing stimulus checks and we are likely never going to see a fourth stimulus payment.
Stimulus Payment Help
Here is a summary of taxpayer related stimulus questions and answers. The information is for all three stimulus check payments - you can only claim the third stimulus when you e-file your 2021 Return.
A: How to track my stimulus payment?
Get your Stimulus Payment Status
You can no longer track your stimulus payment as the IRS is no longer issuing them. During 2020 and 2021, the IRS had updated the tool each time a new stimulus package was signed into law. The linked IRS tool would display the status of the most recent stimulus check. Since the IRS is no longer issuing payments, check to see if you were issued a payment via your IRS account.
B: Additional stimulus payment lookup option
You may be able to see a processed payment of your stimulus checks via your IRS Account; see steps to create your IRS Account.
Your IRS account gives you a detailed overview of your tax return history, payments, etc.
Under Account Transcript, select 2020 or 2021. You will see all deposits and transactions between you and the IRS, including stimulus payments and tax refunds or tax payments. At the bottom of the page will be a transaction history, including Economic Impact Payments, if applicable.
C: What if you never received Stimulus check 1, 2, or 3?
Consider requesting a payment trace if your IRS account transcript shows you were issued the payment, but you did not receive it. Call the IRS at 1-800-919-9835 and mail or fax Form 3911, Taxpayer Statement Regarding Refund to the IRS address you would normally mail a paper return to. On the form, write "EIP1", EIP2, and/or "EIP3" at the top and, under item 7, section 1: check the "Individual" box, enter "2020" for the Tax Period, and leave "Date filed" blank. For EIP 3, enter "2021" for the Tax Period. See more details below.
File a 2020 Return to claim Stimulus 1 and/or Stimulus 2 - prepare these forms manually. Stimulus 3 was an advance payment of the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit as the first two were advance payments of the 2020 credit. This means that you will have to claim the third stimulus on your 2021 Tax Return in 2022. If you do not normally file, see this page for non-filers and stimulus payments or contact us for help with this.
D: Stimulus check questions and answers
See real life scenarios and answers on stimulus check payment questions. Learn how specific taxpayers can receive the stimulus payments if they are in fact owed them, but never received them. These payments are a tax credit and will be based on your tax information.
Stimulus Payment Trace
If you were owed a stimulus payment and were in fact issued one, but did not receive it, you may be able to trace the payment. This may be helpful if you filed a return for the Recovery Rebate Credit due to a missing stimulus payment, but the IRS removed this credit because their records indicated that they issued you the payment even if you never received it.
First, verify that your stimulus check or EIP was in fact issued to you via your IRS Account - this will show any transactions between the IRS and you. If you have confirmed this and you never received the payment and were not able to claim the RRC because of this, then consider a payment trace.
To begin, follow the instructions in Section C in the table above. You will call the IRS, fill out a form, and mail it to the IRS. Then, the IRS will investigate the case and come to one of two conclusions:
- If the IRS determines that the check was not cashed, they will credit your account for the payment. This does not mean they are issuing you the payment. Once they do this, you will need to file a 2020 Return to claim Stimulus 1 and/or 2 or file a 2021 Return to claim Stimulus 3. Do this after the trace is complete.
- If the check was cashed, you will be sent a claim package, including a copy of the cashed check and instructions on how to proceed. The payment may be reversed and you may be able to file a return to claim the RRC.
You will generally hear back from the IRS in about 6 weeks after the request was received. Form 3911 is not needed if a trace request was successful over the phone.
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