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Still no stimulus check? Here are your next steps

Stimulus check
Posted at 5:00 AM, Jan 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-13 08:09:45-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The process of sending out stimulus checks has been smoother the second time around. Still, glitches have left some people empty-handed.

"With the second round of stimulus payments, things moved so quickly that the IRS had a processing issue where they sent a substantial number of payments to closed bank accounts," H&R Block Chief Tax Officer Kathy Pickering said.

The issue impacted some taxpayers who used preparation companies like H&R Block, TurboTax and Jackson Hewitt.

Pickering said the tax industry has been working frantically with the IRS to fix the problems.

"The IRS is working on getting those payments reissued in the next two weeks, so there really isn't an action taxpayers need to take," she said.

Another reason for a delay could be that your check isn't in the mail just yet. The IRS has until Jan. 15 to send out the remaining payments.

If the IRS "Get My Payment" tool indicates your check will be mailed, you are able to track its status.

However, if you wait a few weeks and there's still no payment in sight, it may be time to use a tax return to claim the money.

The IRS has suggested this method for people who see "payment status #2- not available" when checking the "Get My Payment" portal.

Stimulus payments can be claimed on tax returns through the Recovery Rebate Credit.

The instructions for the 1040 tax form include a rebate credit worksheet, found on page 59, to calculate how much you may be owed.

Once you determine the amount, that figure can be entered in line 30 of your tax return.

The Recovery Rebate Credit applies to taxpayers in several situations, including:

  • Those who were eligible for but did not receive the second economic impact payment
  • Those who had a child in 2020 and are eligible for additional stimulus funds
  • Those who had a significant change of income in 2020

"Say in 2019 you had a pretty steady income at a high wage, you may have hit those phase-out thresholds where you didn't get the full amount of the stimulus payment," Pickering said, "But in 2020...your income dropped, and you may be eligible for the full amount."

H&R Block has more information about tracking stimulus payments and other pandemic-related tax issues on its website.

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