Here's What You Need To Know: Many people may not be aware, but U.S. taxpayers can actually speak to a live human regarding their missing stimulus checks.
With the disbursement of the latest much-anticipated sixth batch of coronavirus stimulus checks to two million more Americans, the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department have sent out a total of one hundred sixty-one million payments worth more than $379 billion.
To date, the figures represent more than 85 percent of the $450 billion total earmarked for stimulus funds—but know that despite this achievement, there appears to be thousands of Americans who are still struggling to get their hands on the stimulus cash.
There is, however, good news that may lower some anxiety levels. For those who are missing one or more stimulus check payments, there is still time to claim the money due from the government.
Be aware, though, that the deadline is fast approaching—and will close on the extended Tax Day of May 17.
For weeks, the government has been urging Americans who do not receive federal benefits or typically file tax returns to submit one this year in order to provide their necessary payment information to receive the cash.
Submitting a tax return can also assist with resolving the unenviable situation of missing either or both of the first two checks. The IRS has reminded those affected that for this tax season, a Recovery Rebate Credit has been added to all returns. It was created so that people can eventually receive the overdue payments.
“If you didn’t get any payments or got less than the full amounts, you may qualify for the Recovery Rebate Credit and must file a 2020 tax return to claim the credit even if you don’t normally file,” states the IRS website.
Moreover, many people may not be aware, but U.S. taxpayers can actually speak to a live human regarding their missing stimulus checks—though this is not recommended.
The IRS Economic Impact Payment phone number is 800-919-9835. Be warned, though, that “IRS live phone assistance is extremely limited at this time,” according to the agency’s website. This means that individuals should be prepared to sit on hold for a considerable amount of time.
Also, some individuals reportedly have received a confirmation letter—also known as Notice 1444 or Notice 1444-B—from the IRS stating that their payment was issued even though they haven’t seen any form of payment.
In this situation, know that the impacted individuals have the option to request an IRS payment trace. A similar action can be taken if the IRS “Get My Payment” tool shows that the stimulus funds have been transferred but nothing has changed in the recipient’s bank account.
To request a payment trace, first call the IRS at 800-919-9835 or mail or fax a filled out Form 3911, “Taxpayer Statement Regarding Refund.” If the trace request was completed on the phone, then one does not have to fill out Form 3911.
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.
This piece first appeared last week and is being republished due to reader interest.