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Second stimulus check problems: Payments delayed, going to wrong bank account, 'status unavilable'

The IRS launched an online tool that allows people to track the status of their COVID stimulus payment — but for some it is leading to more questions than answers.

HOUSTON — The IRS on Monday launched its 'Get My Payment' portal for citizens to track the status of their second coronavirus stimulus payment.

Many Americans had already received their payment before the tracker went online — but many had not and still have not.

If you're still waiting, you can visit the stimulus payment tracker page here to check the status of your payment. You will need to enter your Social Security Number, date of birth and street address to find out the status.

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Are you having problems getting your second payment or checking its status? You're not alone — some say their payment went to the wrong bank account. Others say they didn't get enough money.

Here are some of the issues we are tracking:

Payment status not available

In short, the IRS says - like the first time around - this message indicates there was some kind of issue using or getting the data from your 2019 return, which is what stimulus payments are based on.

Here's the official Dec. 2020 statement from the IRS about this message:

The Get My Payment application will return "Payment Status Not Available" for several reasons, including:

  • You’re required to file a tax return, but
    • we haven't finished processing your 2019 return 
  • You don't usually file a return, and
    • you used Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here but we haven’t processed your entry yet
  • You’re not eligible for a payment (see EIP Eligibility and General Information).

If you're getting the #2 unavailable message, the IRS says your payment is not coming in the form of a check or a direct deposit:

The IRS said that anyone who sees this message will not receive a second Economic Impact Payment by mail or direct deposit and instead needs to "claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 Tax Return." Read more here.


Payment went to the wrong account

According to the IRS website, your payment information cannot be changed. If you don’t get a payment and you are eligible to receive one, it may be claimed on your 2020 tax return as the Recovery Rebate Credit.

Be aware that some people have reported their second stimulus payment, like their first, went to their tax preparer instead of their personal checking account. If you used a third-party company to help you file your 2019 taxes and get a refund — you may want to reach out to them. Be aware, however customer support phonelines currently have a long wait.

H&R Block is among those companies confirming some of its customers were impacted by this issue (H&R Block customers can read more at the bottom of this page).

RELATED: What to do if you didn't receive enough stimulus money

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Payment was lower than it should have been OR why did I not get extra money for having a dependent / child?

Remember, the IRS is basing your income off your 2019 tax filings. New parents will not receive a check for their newest member of the family because the stimulus checks are based on 2019 tax filings. However, these parents will be able to receive this money eventually, when they file their 2020 tax return.  

The second round of stimulus checks will be for $600 this time around for a qualifying individual. That is half of what they received in the first round of stimulus checks. A couple filing jointly would be eligible for $1,200, assuming their income qualifies. 

CALCULATOR: Here is a tool from Omni Calculator that may help you determine how much you might receive

A couple or individual can also collect an additional $600 for each dependent under the age of 17. 

Just as with the first round of stimulus checks, there are income requirements. An individual must have made less than $75,000 on their 2019 tax filings, in order to receive the full $600 check. For additional income, the check starts to phase out, hitting zero at $87,000. 

Meanwhile couples will receive the full $1,200 check if they made less than $150,000 on their 2019 tax filings. This check will phase out above that income level, hitting zero at $174,000. 

You can read more about dependents and the stimulus payment amount here from our VERIFY team.


H&R Block customers experiencing payment delays or missing payments

People that have their tax refund checks sent directly to their bank account automatically get their stimulus check from the government to that account number. However, H&R Block customers that used the Refund Transfer option in 2019 may have had their stimulus sent to that temporary account. The company says they are investigating why this happened. 

H&R Block posted online saying in part, "If you took a Refund Transfer, it may be reflecting that account number. Check your 2019 return to confirm." "But don’t worry – we have sent these payments on to the method you chose for Refund Transfer: direct deposit, check, or Emerald Card. The money should be there by the end of the day."

However, many are saying they still didn't receive their payment at the end of the day when this started on Monday, or they only received a part of their payment.

If you don’t receive money this time when you should, you’ll be eligible to get that money on your tax return.

Read more about this situation here.


Are you experiencing another issue or would like to air your grievances? Get involved in the discussion on the KHOU 11 Facebook page here.

Multiple writers from KHOU 11 and across TEGNA contributed to this report

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