Second stimulus check (copy)

There is an IRS website if you haven’t yet received a stimulus check.

You keep checking your bank account, hoping against hope, only to be met with disappointment yet again. No $600.

It isn’t fair, you think to yourself. Neighbors have gotten theirs. Your spouse has gotten his or hers. Heck, even your hated ex- has received the stimulus check.

What in blazes is going on?

As of now, a second round of stimulus checks have been deposited into more than 100 million Americans' bank accounts, and more paper checks and debit cards are on the way.

Qualifying single tax filers will receive up to $600 each, and married joint filers will receive up to $1,200, plus $600 for each child dependent. The money is not taxed as income and will not need to be repaid to the US government.

That’s great news to know, but it doesn’t solve your situation, and time is running tight.

If you still haven't received your second stimulus check, you need to keep a close eye on the state of your "$600" payment before the Jan. 15 stimulus deadline comes and goes.

Maybe your check got caught in the IRS' delivery error with direct deposit. Or maybe your paper check or EIP card is still on its way, so keep checking the mail. It could be that you're one of the millions of people who will need to file a claim with the IRS after the deadline and get this second stimulus payment later in 2021.

Right now, the best thing you can do for yourself is to use one or both of free tools to check in on the status of your second stimulus payment.

The IRS' Get My Payment tool, an online app, will tell you how your $600 stimulus check money will arrive and when it's being sent, among other things. You can also track your mailed check to your house — or, in some cases, reach out to the IRS directly.

Be forewarned that the Get My Payment tool can also be hard to decipher. For example, you may see a vague error message highlighting an issue that might be holding up your check's delivery.

TO GET STARTED

The IRS started sending out second stimulus checks in late December. If you're still asking yourself "where's my stimulus check," the IRS has an online tool that will let you track your payment. The tool is called the "Get My Payment" portal, and it's an updated version of the popular tool Americans used to track the status of their first-round stimulus checks.

With the updated tool, most people will be able to check the status of both their first- and second-round stimulus payments. If you received more than one first-round payment, the tool will show you only the most recent payment information.

The tool won't help everyone, though. Depending on your specific circumstances, you might not be able to access the portal. For example, your access will be denied if:

• You didn't file a 2019 tax return;

• You didn't use the "Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here" tool by November 21, 2020, to get a first-round stimulus payment; or

• You receive Social Security payments or other federal benefits, and the IRS doesn't have enough information from the appropriate federal agency to process your payment.

The updated "Get My Payment" portal more-or-less works the same as the tool used for first-round stimulus checks.

The updated "Get My Payment" tool lets you:

• Check the status of your stimulus payment;

• Confirm your payment type (paper check or direct deposit); and

• Get a projected direct deposit or paper check delivery date (or find out if a payment hasn't been scheduled).

Unlike with the first-round stimulus checks, you can't enter your bank account information to have your payment directly deposited into your account. That's because second-round stimulus payments are only being issued based on information the IRS already has on file – that is, bank information from:

• Your 2019 tax return;

• The IRS online registration tool for non-filers used for first-round stimulus checks;

• The "Get My Payment" portal if entered before December 22, 2020; or

• A federal agency that sends benefits to you (e.g., Social Security Administration, Veteran Affairs, or Railroad Retirement Board).

• This bank information can't be changed, either. Also note that, if you have federal benefits deposited to a Direct Express card, your second stimulus check may also be deposited to that card. The bank information shown in the "Get My Payment" portal will be a number associated with your Direct Express card and may be a number you don't recognize.

• You also can't request payment by debit card. (Approximately 8 million Americans will receive payment by prepaid debit card.)

• The earlier version of the portal was updated no more than once daily, typically overnight. That will probably be the case again. As a result, there's no reason to check the portal more than once per day.

• What Information Will You Need?

• To access the tool, you'll be asked to provide a:

• Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax ID Number (ITIN);

• Date of birth;

• Street address; and

• Five-digit ZIP or postal code.

DON’T BE AFRAID

This may sound difficult, or lengthy. It isn’t. In fact, it’s quite quick and easy. (Editor’s note: I did it myself and it took less than five minutes. Of course, the news wasn’t too much to my liking. I won’t receive mine until the first week in May!)

Good luck.

WE WANT YOUR STORY

If you haven’t yet received your stimulus check, or even if you have, share your experiences, thoughts and situation with the Laramie Boomerang. Email Managing editor Steve Steiner at: ssteiner@laramieboomerang.com.

(Sources for this article include: The Kiplinger Report, CNET, the IRS, Business Insider)

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