Why Haven’t I Received My COVID-19 Stimulus Check?

Still waiting on your CARES act stimulus check? It doesn’t mean you won’t still get your money, and you’re not alone in waiting. Roughly 60 million out of the 90% of Americans eligible for payments are still waiting. And be sure to watch for tricksters claiming they can get you your check faster.

Who Gets Stimulus Checks First?

As we mentioned in here, if the IRS has direct deposit information for you and your 2019 tax filing on hand, it’s easier for them to send you your stimulus check. So the IRS has begun distributing money to this group of people first. The checks will be deposited into the bank accounts the IRS has on file for these individuals.

Next up for receiving payments will be Social Security and Supplemental Security Income recipients, and they should receive the payments automatically very soon, according to the IRS. 

Then, after those two groups receive their funds, the IRS will begin mailing paper checks to the hardest group to reach: those without any electronic payment info on record or those who haven’t authorized their direct deposit info with the IRS in the last two years. Those checks will start going out in the next week or two, according to the IRS. The IRS can process about 5 million checks a week, so it could take months before all of them are sent.

Four Reasons Why Your COVID-19 Check May Be Late

That’s just a summary, so we’ll break it down into a list here of four reasons why you might not have received your COVID-19 stimulus check yet:

1. You didn’t file taxes electronically or get a tax refund in 2018 or 2019

If you didn’t file your 2018 or 2019 federal taxes electronically and receive a refund in those years via direct deposit, the IRS won’t be able to deposit your IRS stimulus money automatically. Also, if you owed money on your 2018 or 2019 taxes and the IRS made an electronic withdrawal of the money you owed, it won’t use that same bank account info to deposit a stimulus check now. You’ll have to wait for a paper check. The same goes if you filed entirely on paper. In these cases, you can use the IRS’s new Get My Payment tool to provide your MoneyLion Checking account direct deposit info.

2. You have an old bank account on file with the IRS 

If you haven’t filed or didn’t receive a refund in 2019, the IRS will use the direct deposit info from your 2018 tax year filing or refund. If that account isn’t active, the money will get returned to the IRS. Then, they’ll have to reroute it to another account (say you file your 2019 taxes in the meantime) or find an address for you and mail a paper check. That could allo take awhile. You can try using the IRS’s new Get My Payment tool to enter your MoneyLion Checking account info, but the payment may be in process and still be slowed down by required rerouting. 

3. You aren’t normally required to file a tax return

If you’re one of the millions of low-income people who are not normally required to file tax returns, you can use the IRS’s online tool for non-filers, which allows you to input your MoneyLion Checking account information for a direct deposit, or an address to receive a paper check.

4. Your refund went to a temporary account set up by a tax preparer like H&R Block

When you use tax preparers like TurboTax, sometimes they set up a temporary account into which you tax refund is deposited first. They take out their fees and then transfer the remaining refund money to you. If you used a tax preprepar, the IRS may only have the tax preparer’s temporary account on file for you and may send your check there. If this happens, the check could get bounced back, and then the IRS will have to send a paper check, which adds time. The good news is that tax preparers are aware of this issue, and some like TurboTax are on the lookout and forwarding the stimulus check money if they have the correct banking info for customers.