If You Never Got Your Last Stimulus Check, Experts Say Do This Now

Here's how you can still receive a previous payment.

The third round of stimulus payments was finally approved on Mar. 10, so many Americans can expect some financial relief in the coming weeks. This will be the final installment of checks, following a lot sent in April and then another in December. However, some Americans are still missing their earlier stimulus checks. The second round of payments was scheduled to be issued by Jan. 15, at the latest. But if you still haven't received yours, you're not alone—as of Jan. 22, approximately 8 million eligible households had not gotten their first or second stimulus payments, the Treasury Department estimated. However, the good news is, there are some ways you can rectify the situation right now, according to financial experts. Read on to find out what you can do to get your money, and for more on the upcoming payments, This Is When Your Next Stimulus Check Will Finally Arrive.

You can file for a missing stimulus payment through your taxes.

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If you're missing the second stimulus payment (or received less than you were owed), you can address that on your upcoming 2020 tax return. "If you're eligible for the credit, and either we didn't issue you any Economic Impact Payments or we issued less than the full amounts, you must file a 2020 tax return to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit even if you are not required to file a tax return for 2020," the IRS explains on their website.

By filing for this rebate credit on your taxes, the IRS can determine how much you are owed and those funds "can be added to your taxes to increase your refund or decrease what you owe," Rus Garofalo, founder of Brass Taxes, previously explained to Best Life.

But first, make sure to double-check that you qualified for the stimulus payment.

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You may want to double-check that you qualified for the second payment before trying to file for the rebate credit as there were some differences between who was eligible for the second stimulus payment compared to the first. As the Peter G. Peterson Foundation explains, individuals earning more than $87,000, single parents making more than $124,500, and married couples earning more than $174,000 were not eligible for the second round of payments. The income caps for the first stimulus payments, meanwhile, were higher at $99,000 for individuals, $136,500 for single parents, and $198,000 for married couples. And for more on eligibility, find out Why You May Not Get the Third Stimulus Check.

Check with the IRS to see if your payment was already issued.

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There is a chance your stimulus check may have been issued already, even if it never made its way to you. You can find out how and when the IRS issued your second stimulus payment using the agency's "Get My Payment" tool. If the tool does not show you a payment date, that means your payment was not issued and you can claim it through the Recovery Rebate Credit.

However, if it does show a date, your payment was issued. If your stimulus payment was sent by check and is still MIA, the IRS says you can request a payment trace. "You will generally receive a response six weeks after we receive your request for a payment trace, but there may be delays due to limited staffing," the IRS says on their website. "If a trace is initiated and the IRS determines that the check wasn't cashed, the IRS will credit your account for that payment but the IRS cannot reissue your payment. Instead, you will need to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 tax return if eligible." And for more up-to-date stimulus check news and other helpful tips, sign up for our daily newsletter.

The IRS said they have sent out all of the second payments.

Extreme close-up of Federal coronavirus stimulus check provided to Americans from the United States Treasury in 2020, showing the statue of liberty.
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As of Feb. 16, the IRS said that more than 147 million second stimulus payments had been sent out totaling more than $142 billion, per CNBC. According to the agency, it had issued all "legally permitted" payments, but as CNBC reported, hundreds of readers said they were still waiting on their payment at this point. And for more on money and taxes, If You Live Here, You Don't Have to File Your Taxes in April.

Kali Coleman
Kali is an assistant editor at Best Life. Read more
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