Getting Answers: Where’s my stimulus check?

National News

(WBTS/NBC) – The Internal Revenue Service began distributing direct payments to millions of Americans last week, as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act or Cares Act.

But plenty of people are having issues with the IRS’ Get My Payment portal which offers information about the status of payments.

“The first day it was a mess. I logged in a couple of times and it locked me out for 24 hours,” said Chris Carson, a taxpayer, “There’s also no way to contact anyone.”

“There is no idea of when they’re coming … you can log into the IRSwebsite and check your payment icon  and it gives me a message ‘payment status not available’,” said  Rob Straswich, a taxpayer, “It gives you reasons for why that may be including not having filed prior tax returns or haven’t filed one recently, but I have filed.”

If payment status is not available, the IRS says it could be for a number of reasons, such as you are not eligible for payment, or if you have not filed a return in tax year 2018 or 2019. 

Certified public accountant Scott Kaplowitch says he’s heard from a lot of clients who are getting that “payment status not available” message.

“There really is no one to answer the questions, there really is no support for the process,” said Kapowich.

Other questions we’ve heard:  “Will you get a check if you owe the irs back taxes for previous years?”

According to the IRS website, the answer is yes. 

“What if the portal tells you that your payment should have been deposited on april 15, but you haven’t received it yet?”

The IRS says your financial institution may not have processed it yet, but to keep checking back.

Some parents want to know if their dependents, who are 18 or older will be getting their own checks.

In this case, the answer is no. Children will not receive a check if they are claimed as a dependent on their parent’s return.

If you have received relief  payments from the federal government on behalf of a deceased loved one, you are not alone.    

If an individual died in 2019 and their most recent tax return on file was for 2018,  it’s possible they would be issued a check.  The IRS hasn’t issued guidance on this yet, but experts say to set the money aside.

“I would recommend that people who do get refunds for deceased taxpayers leave the money in their accounts until such time as the IRS comes up with a process of whether they want it refunded or not,” explained Kapowich.

In some cases people who filed with a tax preparer have had their checks sent to temporary accounts set up by the tax preparer for IRS refunds.  

The IRS says it is working to resolve all of these problems.

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