When and how to report your second missing stimulus check to the IRS


The deadline to receive the second stimulus check passed on January 15.

If you didn’t receive your $600 check, you may be wondering what your options are.

First off, do not call the IRS about missing or incorrect payments.

While the IRS is “committed to helping you get your stimulus payments as quickly as possible,” the website notes “please do not call the IRSabout the new payment.”

“Our phone assistors do not have additional information beyond what's available here on IRS.gov and in the Get My Payment application."

There are a few other options that include using the Payment Trace tool or recouping the payment on your upcoming taxes.

If your first or second stimulus check is missing, first make sure you meet the qualifications.

If you never got the first payment, your best option is to file for the money on your 2020 taxes as a “Recovery Rebate Credit,” which can be  found on Line 30 of the 1040 Form for the 2020 tax year.

The IRS will provide a worksheet to help you calculate your missing payment.

Now, this doesn’t mean you’ll automatically get the full $600 or other relief money you are owed by the government.

The way it works is that the money claimed will be factored into your overall tax return, including liabilities. The rebate credit will either reduce how much you own on the 2020 income tax return or boost the tax refund. So, you’ll get the $600, but if you owe $500, you’ll receive a payment of $100.

If you don’t typically file taxes, you will have too this year in order to get the rebate credit.

The rebate on taxes also applies if you didn’t get the correct amount or didn’t get money for child dependents.

There are a few more instances where you should contact the IRS including if the “Get My Payment” tracking tool indicated that your payment was sent but you never got it or if you got a confirmation letter from the IRS about a payment but never saw any funds (Notice 1444).

If any of the above are the case, you can request something that’s called an IRS Payment Trace.

To start a Payment trace, either call the number 800-919-9835 or mail or fax a completed Form 3911, Taxpayer Statement Regarding Refund PDF.

Be sure to write “EIP” on the top of the form and complete the form by answering all refund questions.

When completing item 7 under Section 1, do the following:

- Check the box for “Individual” as the Type of return
- Enter “2020” as the Tax Period
- Do not write anything for the Date Filed

Lastly, sign the form. If you filed jointly, both spouses must sign the form.

If a check was not cashed, the IRS will issue a replacement. If the check was cashed, the  Bureau of the Fiscal Service (BFS) will send you a claim package that includes a copy of the cashed check. You’ll have to follow the instructions and basically cancel the check in order to get a new one sent to you.

Responses take about 6 weeks after a “Payment Trace” has been submitted.

You should not mail Form 3911 if you've already requested a trace by phone.

While the IRS does not want calls, if you need answers, you can contact them at 800-829-1040.

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