The federal government started sending one-time economic impact payments to some taxpayers on April 15, but many have still not received their money. The government’s CARES Act offers up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples and up to $500 for each qualifying child.
To receive a payment, you must have:
You don’t have direct deposit set up. While many people with accurate bank account numbers on file with the IRS have begun to receive payments, physical checks aren’t due to begin mailing out until the beginning of May. And at about five million checks per week, it could take up to 20 weeks for all checks to get sent out.
The direct deposit account listed on your most recent tax return is now closed. If you haven’t filed for 2019 with an updated account number, your stimulus payment most likely went to your old account. If that happens, the bank will reject the payment and the IRS will instead mail a paper check to the mailing address listed on your most recent return, which may take several months.
You’re not a U.S. citizen. Even if you file taxes with an ITIN number, you are not eligible for the economic stimulus payment. If you’re a California resident and undocumented, the Governor’s office has produced this guide for help with an assortment of resources.
You are being claimed as a dependent. If you’re 18 or older you’ll need to file your own taxes independently. If you’re still being claimed on your parents return over 18, as is the case with many college students, not only will you not receive a payment, your parents won’t get the child credit either.
You have collections on other accounts. If you have outstanding credit card debt, or used a tax preparation professional and received an advance on your 2019 return, your money may be sent to them instead. The government has protected the stimulus money from medical debt, federal student loans, and any back taxes you may owe.
You owe child support. Child support is the only government-related wage garnishment the stimulus payment isn’t shielded from. If you owe child support, there’s a good chance you won’t see part, or all, of your payment.
You are married to an immigrant. The CARES Act will send automatic payments to anyone who has a Social Security number, but it blocks U.S. citizens if they file a joint tax return with a spouse who does not have a Social Security number.
Your income must be below $75,000 if you’re single, or $150,000 if married. Although there’s a maximum income cap, there’s no minimum. If you don’t make enough to file taxes, there’s an option on the IRS form above for non-filers to make sure you get your money too.
You and your spouse listed separate accounts on your 2019 taxes for your return. The IRS is only making a single deposit, so one account will receive the entire payment.
You recently filed a paper tax return. Due to the volume of work between the stimulus payments and tax season, as well as reduced staffing because of the pandemic, the IRS isn’t currently processing the paper returns they receive.
You receive Social Security. If you are not claiming any dependents, your money is on the way. If you want to claim the $500-per-child stimulus bonus, you’ll need to use the IRS non-filers tool before Wednesday, April 22.
If you haven’t gotten your money and none of the above apply to you, you can check out the IRS frequently asked questions page here.