How to find your missing COVID stimulus check

Finance

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — There is help for people who did not receive a COVID-19 stimulus check from the second round of federal funding.

CPA Michelle Staebell of the New York State Society of CPAs discussed what may have happened to your check and what you can do to locate it Thursday during News 8 at Sunrise.

“Most of the stimulus payments have been sent out, at least to taxpayers’ bank accounts, but some taxpayers haven’t received them yet,” Staebell said. “It could be that they don’t have a bank account on file with the IRS. It could be their bank account was closed with the IRS. And there’s a couple of other reasons why people may not have received their stimulus yet. We know it’s causing a lot of stress for some taxpayers.”

Staebell said the IRS will have to work with the banking institutions to redirect stimulus checks that were deposited into the wrong bank accounts. “For taxpayers, this stimulus payment turns into a refundable credit on their 2020 tax return if they didn’t receive it. So both the first stimulus and the second stimulus need to be reconciled on a taxpayer’s 2020 tax return and then however much the taxpayer should have received that they haven’t received will be refunded when they file their tax return.”

To assist people the IRS has a tool on its website IRS.gov. “It’s the first tool there,” noted Staebell. “It says ‘Get My Payment Status’ or ‘Get My Economic Impact Payment Status’ and the IRS website will ask for a little bit of information and then it will tell the taxpayer how much they’re supposed to get and how they’re supposed to receive it – whether it’s through direct deposit through a bank account, or through a check payment, or maybe even through receiving a prepaid card. And that will give a taxpayer all of the information that is available at this point in time, so the IRS is really pushing people to go out to the website and check out their own status on their own.”

Staebell said do not try to call the IRS for answers. “The IRS operators do not have any additional information besides what’s on the website and the IRS phone systems are so back-logged. It’s just caused a lot of frustration sitting on hold and many taxpayers will not even be successful in getting through to somebody so the IRS is really discouraging the phone calls and really pushing taxpayers to be patient, wait, go to the IRS.gov website and look up this tool to find out what’s happening with their stimulus payment.”

People can also reach out to their tax accountant for assistance. Staebell explained, “The IRS will be following up with all of the stimulus payments that are being sent out. They’ll follow up with a letter and that letter really needs to be included in the tax documents that are forwarded to a tax accountant because, again, the stimulus payment has to be reconciled on a taxpayer’s tax return. So, hopefully, all taxpayers will receive their payment without an issue and it will be followed up with a letter and it will be reconciled on a tax return. But that reconciliation really does provide some benefit if the taxpayer doesn’t receive the stimulus payment as planned.”

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