This is surely an achievement that should be applauded—but know that there are still thousands of financially struggling Americans who are sitting empty-handed, wondering how they will pay their mortgage or rent this month.
For those mired in this unenviable situation, take comfort in knowing that there are indeed options available that can help people get their hands on the money that they are entitled to.
Be aware that some people reportedly have gotten a confirmation letter, also known as Notice 1444 or Notice 1444-B, from the Internal Revenue Service saying that their stimulus payment was issued even though they have yet to receive it.
In this particular scenario, the impacted individuals have the option to request an IRS payment trace, which can also be initiated if the IRS “Get My Payment” tool at www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment shows that the stimulus funds have been transferred but nothing has changed in the recipient’s bank account.
In order to request a trace, make sure to first call the IRS at 800-919-9835 or mail or fax a completed Form 3911—“Taxpayer Statement Regarding Refund.” Do set aside some time to complete this process because many have been left on hold for a considerable amount of time.
Also, keep in mind that if the payment trace request was handled via phone, then one does not have to complete Form 3911.
Per the agency, here is the best way to fill out Form 3911. First, make sure to write “EIP3” on the top of the form, then fill out the rest by answering all of the refund and stimulus payment-related questions. When one gets to item seven under section one, be sure to check the box for “Individual” as the type of return. For “Date Filed,” one can leave that blank and then sign the form. For those who are married and filing together, both spouses must sign the form.
Taxpayers can also utilize the IRS “Get My Payment” tool to get a status update on their stimulus checks. To use it, one will just need to type in the full Social Security or tax ID number, date of birth, street address, and ZIP code.
However, know that some individuals will receive a “Need More Information” message, which means that the stimulus check was returned to the IRS because the post office was unable to deliver it. And others will get a message that says, “Payment Status Not Available.”
“If you get this message, either we have not yet processed your payment, or you are not eligible for a payment,” the IRS says.
Finally, concerned individuals can actually speak to a live human regarding their missing stimulus checks—but be warned that “IRS live phone assistance is extremely limited at this time,” the agency’s website states.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.