Recent Updates Regarding Stimulus Payment

As of May 8, the IRS had sent out stimulus checks to approximately 130 million individuals totaling more than $200 billion in payments. There are still many who have not received their payment and a lot of questions remain unanswered. The IRS continues to send out payments and issue updates regarding the stimulus. This is the latest information provided by the IRS:

Have Questions Regarding the Stimulus? (as of May 18)

On May 18 the IRS began adding 3,500 telephone representatives to answer questions about the stimulus payment. More representatives will be added as COVID-19 advisories for states and counties permit. To reach a representative call 1-800-919-9835. At the end of the recorded message you will have the option of talking to a representative.

What if the Amount of the Stimulus Payment Received was Incorrect? (as of May 14)

Eligible taxpayers who receive a smaller-than-expected stimulus payment may qualify to receive an additional amount when they file their 2020 federal income tax return in 2021. The IRS is not able to correct or issue additional payments at this time. The stimulus payment will not reduce a taxpayer’s refund or increase the amount they owe when they file a tax return next year. It is also not taxable and it should not be included in income on a 2020 return.

What if the Stimulus Payment was made to a Deceased Person? (as of May 11)

A payment made to someone who died before receipt of the payment should be returned to the IRS in the following manner:

If the payment was a paper check write “void” in the endorsement section on the back of the check and mail the check, along with a note stating the reason for returning the check, to the IRS.

If the payment was a paper check which was cashed or if the payment was directly deposited into a bank account, send a personal check or money order to the IRS. The check should be made out to the US Treasury and should include the social security number of the recipient of the check and the notation “2020EIP”. A note explaining the reason the check is being return must be included.

For Florida residents, checks should be mailed to Austin Internal Revenue Service, 3651 S Interregional Hwy 35, Austin, TX 78741.

What if the Stimulus Payment was made to an Incarcerated Person? (as of May 6)

A check received by an incarcerated person must be mailed back to the IRS. A non-incarcerated person who filed jointly with an incarcerated person may keep his/her portion of the stimulus check.

Does a Stimulus Payment have to be Paid Back if Income Increases?

The stimulus payment is an advance on a credit for 2020 and uses your 2018 or 2019 income to determine eligibility. If your income in 2020 exceeds the eligibility threshold, there is no requirement in the law that the stimulus payment be paid back to the government. Taxpayers who received a stimulus payment for a child will also not have to pay it back even if the child turns 17 during 2020.

Can a Child Qualify for the full Stimulus Payment?

If a taxpayer claimed a child as a dependent in 2019 and the child was over 17, the taxpayer will not receive a stimulus payment for the child. The child will not be eligible for a stimulus payment at this time because he/she was claimed as a dependent in 2019. However, if the child was not claimed as a dependent by anyone in 2020, and the child files his/her own return for 2020 in 2021, the child will receive a credit on the 2020 return if he/she would otherwise qualify.

What if my Bank Account Information has Changed? (as of May 15)

If your stimulus payment is pending or has been processed, you cannot change your bank account information. The bank information used is that which appears on your most recently filed return (2018 or 2019), if you received a refund by direct deposit or the information provided to the IRS on the Get my Payment or Non-Filers tool.

The IRS does not allow a change to the direct deposit information already on file with the IRS in order to guard against potential fraud. If your direct deposit is rejected by the bank, the stimulus payment will be mailed to the address has on file for you.

If your refund was split between several accounts the stimulus will be deposited into the first bank account listed on your Allocation of Refund form.

Does the Get my Payment Tool Show the Stages of Processing of the Stimulus? (as of May 19)

Yes, the get my payment tool will show the following information:

  1. Payment Status: One of the following
  • Payment has been processed, a payment date is available and payment is directly deposited/mailed.
  • You are eligible, but a payment has not been processed and a payment date is not available.
  1. Need More Information – You are eligible for a payment, but the IRS does not have your direct deposit information. You are given the opportunity to provide your bank information once you have properly verified your identity.
  1. Payment Status Not Available – The IRS cannot determine your eligibility for a payment.

Why Would Payment Status not be Available? (as of May 19)

This can occur for several reasons:

  1. You are required to file a return, but the IRS has not finished processing your 2019 return or the application does not yet have your data.
  1. You are not required to file a return and the information entered on the Non-Filers tool has not yet been processed by the IRS.
  1. You are not eligible for the stimulus.

How Often is the Get my Payment Status Updated? (as of May 15)

If your stimulus payment status shows as “not available”, updates to the payment status are made no more than once per day, usually overnight.

If your payment status message does not provide a payment date, and you entered your bank account information by noon on Tuesday, the payment date should be available on the Get my Payment tool the following Saturday. If the bank information was entered after noon on a Tuesday, the payment date should be available beginning the Saturday of the following week.

How long is the Stimulus Payment Available?

Stimulus payments will continue to be made through the rest of 2020. If you do not receive the payment in 2020, but are eligible to receive it, you can claim the stimulus by filing a 2020 return by the due date in 2021.

You can also claim a stimulus payment on your 2020 return for children born, adopted or placed in foster care during 2020.

Will the IRS Contact you About the Stimulus Payment? (as of May 8)

The only contact you will receive from the IRS is Notice 1444 advising you that you should have received the stimulus payment. The IRS will not call you, text you or e-mail you regarding the stimulus payment or to request banking or other personal information. Always remain on the alert for scammers.



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