Personal Finance Personal Finance

Is it there yet? Here’s how to check for your federal stimulus payment.

Managing Your Money

Back to Managing Your Money

Is it there yet? Here’s how to check for your federal stimulus payment.

Millions of Americans are waiting for their stimulus payments. Some may have to wait a little longer than others. Here are some frequently asked questions that may help ease your mind as you wait for your payment.

Why didn’t we get our stimulus payment?
The first batch of stimulus payments sent out hinged on whether the IRS had direct deposit information for you as a result of a previous refund. If you owed the IRS or simply did not get a refund in 2018 or 2019, the agency doesn’t have deposit information to send your money electronically. This does not mean you won’t get a payment. It means you need to either go to “Get My Payment” on the IRS website or wait for a paper check in the mail.

What if it never comes?
No matter what, the stimulus payment is technically a 2020 tax credit that eligible individuals and couples are getting now because the need is so great. So, if for some reason you don’t get the payment, but you are eligible for it, tax experts say you can claim it on your 2020 tax return.

Do I have to pay it back?
According to Marketwatch, a website owned by Dow Jones & Company, “Your money is yours to save, spend, invest or donate because it’s not a loan Uncle Sam is expecting you to pay back.”

I went to “Get My Payment,” but I keep getting a ‘Payment Status Not Available’ message.
If you get a message that your payment status can’t be determined, wait a day. Because information is updated nightly, there is no need to check back several times during the day.

The IRS offers these reasons why people get this message:

  • You are required to file a tax return, but:
  • The IRS hasn’t finished processing your 2019 return
  • The program doesn't yet have your data; the IRS is working on adding more data to allow more people to use it.
  • You don't usually file a return, and:
  • You used “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here” but the IRS hasn’t processed your entry yet
  • You receive an SSA or RRB Form 1099 or SSI or VA benefits; information may not have been loaded onto the IRS systems yet for people who don’t normally file a tax return.

How do I get past the question asking if I’ve received a refund or did I owe taxes for 2019? Neither applies to me.
Many people have discovered this problem. The IRS is aware of the roadblock and says they are working to find a solution.

Did using a tax preparer slow down my stimulus payment?
Possibly, though there are many who used a tax preparer (whether a CPA or a company like TurboTax) who have received their stimulus payment.

Is it delayed because I got a rapid refund in the past?
It’s possible. If you received a refund anticipation loan (RAL) or refund anticipation check (RAC), these refunds are distributed via virtual bank accounts established only for purposes of the refund transaction, so they no longer exist. However, if your return also transmitted your underlying bank account information, you could still receive a payment via direct deposit.

I got locked out when I tried to enter my direct deposit information.
Like many websites, the “Get My Payment” portal will lock you out after multiple failed attempts to enter information as a fraud prevention measure. Or it may be through no fault of your own. The IRS may have outdated or incorrect information on file. For example, if you moved, the IRS may have an old address, or your Social Security number may be incorrect in the system.

If you get a message that your payment status can’t be determined, try again tomorrow. Because information is updated overnight, you won’t have a chance of getting a different result until tomorrow.

The IRS is periodically posting updates on coronavirus tax relief as issues arise at irs.gov.

I know I am getting direct deposit. When will the funds be available in my account?
As soon as we receive deposit transfers from the government, we will post them to your account immediately. We won’t hold back your stimulus deposit for any reason.

I know I am getting a paper check. When will it arrive?
The Treasury Department reported they started sending paper checks the week of April 20. The plan is to send out as many as five million checks each week, with lower-income people getting paid first. Higher-income taxpayers might not see a relief check until September under the IRS timetable.

Can I deposit my paper check using mobile banking?
Yes, you can. Check out How to Use Mobile Check Deposit. It also has links to more information on mobile and online banking if you have not enrolled yet.

If you’d rather check your account by phone, call our Pinnacle Anytime automated system for account history 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, toll-free.

  • In Tennessee and Georgia call 866.755.5428. In the Carolinas and Virginia call 877.842.4180.

If your questions aren't answered there, call our Client Service CenterPlease know they are experiencing extremely high volumes due to stimulus programs for personal and business clients, so wait times may vary. But we are here if you need us.

Article Search

Calculators

How much mortgage can you afford? Do you have enough insurance? Get answers with these free calculators.

Case Studies

Learn how we've helped our clients purchase dream homes, build their businesses and become successful.

Pinnacle 5 Podcast Series

Arm yourself with knowledge on financial topics from the advisors at Pinnacle.