Reasons Your Stimulus Check May Never Come

Coronavirus stimulus checks have started being deposited into bank accounts, and paper checks have begun going out. If you’re waiting for the money the CARES Act provides, you may be frustrated if your payment hasn’t yet arrived. While direct deposits are being made quickly, just five million paper checks will go out weekly, so it could take until August or September for them all to arrive. For others, coronavirus funds may never come. Here are six reasons that could happen to you.

  1. You earn too much – The CARES Act placed an income limit on who could receive coronavirus stimulus funds. If your income is $99,000 as a single filer, $198,000 as a married couple with no kids, or $146,500 if you file as head of household with one child you won’t get any stimulus funds.
  2. You didn’t file a recent tax return – If you didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019, the IRS won’t send you a payment. However, you can go online to complete a simple form that’s been created for non-filers to provide their information. If you complete it and show you’re eligible, you’ll be able to receive the stimulus money.
  3. You just started getting Social Security or railroad retirement benefits – If you just started getting your retirement benefits in 2020, the IRS won’t have information from your benefits provider. You’ll be in the same situation as every other non-filer and will need to use the IRS form to let the service know you’re entitled to the stimulus money.
  4. You are claimed as a dependent -The CARES Act doesn’t provide an extra $500 in funds for adult dependents — only for children under 17. But it also excludes anyone claimed as a dependent from getting their own stimulus check.
  5.  You or your spouse doesn’t have a Social Security number – A valid U.S. Social Security number is required to receive stimulus funds. While citizens and green card holders with Social Security numbers can qualify for a payment, those without this form of ID are left out in the cold.
  6. The IRS has old information – If the IRS has an outdated bank account or address on file for you, it could end up sending your money to the wrong place. If your old bank account is closed, the stimulus funds will be returned, and the IRS will send a paper check (eventually) once it’s notified. This will go to the address on file from your most recent return.

Correct the problem if you can – There are lots of reasons you might not get a stimulus check that can still be corrected if you act quickly. If you’re able to, complete any required forms on the IRS Economic Impact Page now to claim your share of the money aimed at helping you through this economic and public health crisis.


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