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Track your $1,400 stimulus check: How and when to see your IRS payment status

The IRS is preparing to send the third stimulus check. Here’s the first step if you want to track its status.


Sarah Tew/CNET

The third checks for $1,400, right on schedule, are hitting the bank accounts of those who are eligible for a payment. As many people are doing this weekend, you can monitor your bank’s app or website for updates on a payment deposit (here’s how to calculate your stimulus total). But if you can wait a few days, the IRS on Monday will reopen its own tracking tool, which can give you the current status of your payment. This tool can be a bit tricky to decode at times — we can help.

It took one day from when President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, on Thursday, to when the IRS and US Treasury began processing the first wave of payments for direct deposit recipients. Tens of millions more stimulus checks will be sent in the coming weeks electronically, and also through the mail as paper checks or EIP debit cards. As with the first two checks, most of the new payments will go out via direct deposit, the IRS said.

Starting Monday, the IRS status tool can show you when and how the agency sent your third check, alert you to potential problems that could delay your stimulus payment, and possibly suggest ways to fix an issue. The tool may also give you the status on your first two stimulus payments, which is valuable information because this year’s tax season is the time to claim missing money from your first or second checks. Here’s what you need to know about tracking your payment. This story was recently updated.

IRS Get My Payment: What to know when the tracking tool goes live

Now that the first payments are going out to bank accounts, the IRS said its tracking tool, called Get My Payment, will be available on Monday so people can learn the status of their check. We expect the information to update once a day, as was the case with the first two payments. 

Once the tracking app is live for the third check, plug in your Social Security number, date of birth, street address and ZIP code. Then the tool will display a message with information about your check — whether the payment was sent, the payment method (direct deposit or physical mail) and the date it was issued. It’ll also let you know if the service can’t yet determine your status — more below on error messages.


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Stimulus check 3: How much money you’ll get



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Can you sign up for direct deposit using Get My Payment?

Now that the IRS is sending the third stimulus check, you’ll likely get it fastest if you have a direct deposit account already set up with the federal government. Some are reporting the IRS used the banking information they supplied on their taxes this year for the new stimulus payment.

With the first check, the online tool let you enter your banking information to receive your payment straight to your bank account, if the IRS didn’t have your banking information. The IRS didn’t let people register new direct deposit accounts or change their banking information for the second stimulus check, and it appears the agency won’t allow direct deposit registration for the third stimulus payment.

The IRS’ press release reads: “Those without current direct deposit information on file will receive the payment as a check or debit card in the mail.” The IRS hasn’t responded to a request to confirm that you can’t newly register for direct deposit with the third payment.

It isn’t clear if it’s too late to get your new check through direct deposit if you add that information on your 2020 taxes, but if you want to take the gamble, you’ll need to act fast. You can register for a new direct deposit account (in fact, up to three) as part of filing your 2020 tax return. If the IRS receives your banking information before it processes your third payment, it could use that information to send your money.

What is the ‘Need More Information’ message?

Based on the first two checks, you may see an error if the tool can’t determine your eligibility — or if you’re completely ineligible, if your payment status isn’t available or if a lot of people are trying to access the tool at once (expect that in the first few days). 

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The IRS and US Treasury are sending the third round of stimulus payments.


Sarah Tew/CNET

If the Get My Payment tool gives you a payment date but you still haven’t received your money, the IRS may need more details from you. The error could also indicate that your check has been returned because the post office was unable to deliver it.

You may want to make sure the government has your current mailing address.

What should I do if I see a ‘Payment Status Not Available’ message?

It’s normal for the Get My Payment tool to give you a message that says “Payment Status Not Available” until the payment is scheduled to be issued, according to the IRS. So, you don’t have to do anything.

If Get My Payment says the IRS sent a stimulus check, but you never get it, do this

If the IRS’ online tool said the agency has issued your stimulus money, but you have no record of it in the mail or in your bank account, and it never arrived in your mailbox, you may need to file a stimulus check payment trace. It’s handy if you also have the letter the IRS may have sent you.

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If your money is tied up in any way, the IRS Get My Payment tracking tool indicate a problem.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Do you have to keep the IRS letter confirming your third stimulus payment?

If the IRS issues you a stimulus check, it sends a notice by mail to your last known address within 15 days after making the payment, to confirm delivery. The letter contains information on when and how the payment was made and how to report it to the IRS if you didn’t receive your check. The letter is helpful if you don’t receive your full payment and need to claim your money later. Here’s how to recover the information if you lost or tossed the letter.

You can track your mailed stimulus check to your mailbox. Here’s how

If your third stimulus check is going out in the mail, the US Postal Service has a free app that can notify you when it’s about to deliver your stimulus money from the IRS. Called Informed Delivery, the mail-tracking service automatically scans your letters and can alert you when they’ll be delivered. Here’s more on how to set up and use the letter-tracking service from the USPS to keep tabs on your payment.

What if you’re still owed money from the first or second stimulus payments?

The IRS is no longer automatically sending out the first and second payments. If you believe you are still owed money from either of those rounds, your best chance of claiming that missing first or second payment is to file for the Recovery Rebate Credit as part of tax season 2020. If you’re eligible, you’ll need to know the amount of money the IRS allotted you, which you can find out online or from the letter the agency mailed

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

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