Stimulus checks: Missing a payment? File an IRS trace to track it down

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WASHINGTON (WJW) — The U.S. Treasury Department has issued more than 156 million payments as part of President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief plan, but many Americans are still waiting on their third stimulus check. Meanwhile, the Internal Revenue Service says there are certain circumstances that may warrant a payment trace.

Biden’s coronavirus relief plan issues direct payments of as much as $1,400 per person to eligible Americans. The government says roughly $372 billion has been paid out since March 12.

Last week, the Treasury Department began issuing payments to social security (SSI and SSDI) recipients. The IRS says non-filers and Veterans Affairs beneficiaries should expect to see their checks in the coming weeks.

Officials say those still expecting a payment can check the government’s Get My Payment tool. However, there are certain cases in which citizens may need to take additional steps in tracing their stimulus payments. A trace is a process for tracking down a lost, stolen or misplaced payment.

The IRS says you may need to trace your payment if:

  • The IRS Get My Payment tool says your stimulus money was issued, yet it never arrived.
  • You received a letter from the IRS stating your payment was sent, but you never received it.

According to the government, you can request a payment trace by calling the IRS at 800-919-9835. You can either use the automated system or speak with an agent.

You can also mail or fax a completed Form 3911, Taxpayer Statement Regarding Refund. The IRS notes that if you filed a married filing jointly return, you can’t initiate a trace using the automated systems. 

The AARP has provided the following tips for filling out a Form 3911 for your missing stimulus payment:

  • When submitting a Form 3911, remember to have both spouses sign it if you’re married and filing jointly.
  • Write “EIP” — which stands for economic impact payment — on the top of the form.
  • Complete Sections I, II and III, and answer the refund questions as they relate to your EIP.
  • When completing Number 7 under Section I, check the box for “Individual” as the type of return; enter “2021” as the tax period and leave the date filed blank.

Anyone with additional questions about their stimulus check or the tracing process is encouraged to contact the IRS.

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