COVID-19 Why Hasn’t My Friend Gotten Their Stimulus Check?

On April 16, 2020 we published The Corona Virus Version of Where’s My Refund which highlighted Just Asking for A Friend.  Today we publish Why Hasn’t My Friend Gotten Their Stimulus Check?   In case your friend is wondering where the Economic Impact Payment is.

IYMI – Visit our archives.  #COVID-19 The Corona Virus Version Of Where’s My Refund

The IRS has sent out over 140M Economic Impact Payments (EIP) totaling about 239B$ and leaving about 10M payments yet to be delivered.

First, a few important things for all of us.

Remember, the Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check) is actually 2020 totally free money that most eligible people are getting now.  Because the IRS needed something to go on when this whole thing started, they used 2019 and 2018 returns as a mechanism to get payments to people.

Direct Deposit.  If you have an allocated direct deposit – the EIP will be deposited in the first account listed.  It will not be allocated.  If your tax return refunds for 2018 or 2019 were not direct deposited, the EIP will not be either. It will be mailed to the address on the last (2018/2019) tax return processed.

If a direct deposit account is closed, the bank will return the payment to the IRS, who will then mail a check or a prepaid debit card.  Find out more about that here:   EIP Card

EIPs will not be deposited into accounts that were used for Electronic Funds Withdrawal, Direct Pay, or EFTPS.  Direct Deposit info in Refund section ONLY.

The Letter.  If you have received your EIP, expect to receive snail mail in your curbside inbox within 15 days.  This letter will explain the EIP to you and offers up a phone number in case you have questions.  Yes; you read right!  A phone number.  If you follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn, you already know that the IRS has hired 3,500 phone operators.  After you suffer through the long and tedious automated message there will finally be a human at the end.

Worst case scenario.  Getting the EIP amount when the 2020 tax return is filed and processed.

If your friend hasn’t gotten their Economic Impact Payment yet.

Very first thing, tell your friend – Don’t assume that it is coming just because you know you always direct deposit IRS tax refunds or have always had Social Security and VA checks direct deposited.  Go to Get My Payment on the IRS website to be sure the direct deposit information is solid.

Next, give your friend a head’s up. The IRS is going to go to 2019 processed returns first. Keep in mind that an e-filed 2019 return is not a processed 2019 return. That Form 9325 acknowledgement means only that your tax return is in the IRS curbside mailbox and not in the building yet much less on anyone’s desk or laptop.  There may be a time delay as the IRS processes the 2019 return.  And another time delay if they have to pull out your friend’s 2018 processed return.

Did your friend use a tax prep service? And maybe got one of those debit or gift cards from the tax prep service.  If your friend used a tax prep service and got a “Refund Anticipation Loan” (RAL) that would slow down the EIP’s arrival as the payment will go to the tax prep service and perhaps even back to the IRS who will then mail a check.  The IRS does not have your friend’s direct deposit information.  This still may be fixable on Get My Payment.

Did your friend provide direct deposit information for 2018 and 2019 returns?  Adding the direct deposit information on Get My Payment may still help.  If not, your friend will get a check or prepaid debit card eventually.

Did your friend file a tax return for 2018 or 2019?  It’s possible your friend might not have filed because they didn’t have quite enough income.  This may still be fixable on the IRS Website: Non-filers: Enter Payment Info Here.  If not, your friend will get a check or prepaid debit card eventually.

Did your friend make too much money?  If you’re single, married, or head-of-household filer with a respective AGI between $75,000 and $99,000; $150,000 and $198,000; and between $112,500 and $136,500 the EIP will dwindle from the maximum of $1,200 to $0.

Did your friend paper file?  The IRS is not processing paper returns.  Your friend will get a check or prepaid debit card eventually.

Is your friend up to date on bank loans?  Unless your state expressly bans it – banks and collection agencies can hijack stimulus checks.

Does your friend have a social security number?  A valid social security number for work is required.  Do both spouses have social security numbers? In a married filing joint situation both spouses must have SSNs.

If your friend didn’t get the amount expected?

How old are your friend’s child(ren)? On the tax return the IRS is using, kids must be under 17 and eligible for the Child Tax Credit.  This is an additional payment of up to $500 per child.

If your friend’s dependents are parents or relatives.  Tell your friend no $500 for parents and no $500 for relatives older than 17.  Plus, the parents and the relatives over 17 don’t get their own up to $1,200 because they are a dependent on your friend’s return.

If there are any new additions in 2020. If your friend had, adopted, or fostered an eligible child in 2020 the additional $500 amount can be claimed on the 2020 return.

If your friend is a full-time college student.

It’s a tough predicament when college students are adults and parents claim them as dependents for various tax benefits.  No one gets the benefit of stimulus – now.  If your friend cannot be claimed and is not claimed as a dependent on the parents’ upcoming 2020 return your friend may get the $1,200 credit on the 2020 return.

Stay tuned next for what to do if you receive an EIP and shouldn’t’ve.

COVID-19 Disclaimer.  Laws and regulations have quickly changed and will continue to change in order to mitigate the economic damage caused by the Coronavirus Crisis.  New laws and regulations are being passed quicker than the legislative process has taken in the past. Guidance, clarifications, and interpretations are constantly evolving.  Deadlines and due dates are being extended and re-extended. New relief and programs are constantly rising up.  This is occurring on all levels:  Federal, State, and Local.  Information we publish may not be updated after initial publication/dissemination. We are committed to giving you the best answer possible based on what we know at the time your question is asked.


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