Why didn't I get the stimulus payment? How do I get it?
April 17, 2020 11:56 AM   Subscribe

How do I get the $1,200 stimulus payment? It hasn't shown up yet, and the IRS tracker isn't giving me any results.

I filed taxes in 2020 for 2019, on April 9th. I did not file taxes in 2019 for 2018. Is that enough documentation to qualify for the stimulus payment, or do I need to go back and file my 2018 taxes?

Is there some other way I can request the money or check my status for the stimulus payment?

(If it matters, I only worked three months in 2018, and I never bothered to file taxes. The only money I made on the books in 2019 was interest on various accounts, well below the limit for the stimulus payment.)

This is what happens when I put my info in the IRS form about the stimulus payments.

I need the money as soon as possible, and I'm trying to figure out why it was delayed, and how to get access to it.
posted by davidstandaford to Work & Money (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Is it possible you made too little money to qualify with 2019 income?
posted by kmr at 12:02 PM on April 17, 2020

Response by poster: What's the minimum to qualify?
posted by davidstandaford at 12:04 PM on April 17, 2020

There doesn't seem to be a minimum to qualify per this, only a maximum.
posted by needs more cowbell at 12:09 PM on April 17, 2020 [4 favorites]

Did you have your tax refund direct deposited this year? If you didn’t get a refund they may not have info on your bank account. I’m pretty sure they are using info from 2018-2019 to make the direct deposits. You can request a check on the website but it may take a while.
posted by Young Kullervo at 12:15 PM on April 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

You filed your taxes 8 days/5 business days (less if the IRS takes any Easter break) ago... my assumption would be they haven't even begun to be processed yet and therefore the info hasn't made it to the stimulus side yet.
posted by brainmouse at 12:19 PM on April 17, 2020 [13 favorites]

And I'm guessing you filed electronically, but following up on brainmouse: If you filed on paper, it's going to be a very long wait. "If you have not yet filed your federal income tax return, do not—repeat, do not—send the Internal Revenue Service a paper return—especially if you are expecting a tax refund or want a COVID-19 recovery rebate based on your 2019 income."
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 12:25 PM on April 17, 2020

Something you can try is checking your IRS Tax Return Transcript, which will let you see various "transcripts" of your account: Return, Record of Account, Account, and Wage & Income. I filed my 2019 return on April 10, 2019, but today is the first day the information in the transcripts reflect any information from my 2019 tax year filing (prior to today the IRS systems reported no information about that tax year). However, as of today the "Return Transcript" for 2019 is available and shows the details from my 2019 tax year filing. The "Account Transcript" also now shows information about the 2019 tax year, and it says that the processing date for my return is May 4, 2020. So while the IRS does have the information from my 2019 return, presumably the IRS won't actually process information from the return until that date.
posted by RichardP at 12:34 PM on April 17, 2020

I didn't get mine either. I filed electronically in 2018 and have not filed yet in 2019 as I owe and am taking advantage of the grace period. Since I rarely get a refund (I have refined it to where I typically owe about $50) I assume my check will show up in the mail at some point. I hope so anyway.
posted by fshgrl at 12:45 PM on April 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

Also, if you've filed via Turbo Tax there are glitches there and Turbo Tax is trying to work thru it.
posted by tipsyBumblebee at 12:55 PM on April 17, 2020 [3 favorites]

...for what it is worth, as an addendum to what I wrote above, I just now used the IRS Get My Payment link to check on the status of my Economic Impact Payment and I got the same message as you (i.e. "We can not determine your eligibility for a payment at this time.") As I mentioned above, I filed my 2019 return on April 10, 2020, but my tax situation in 2018 was particularly complicated so I requested several filing extensions, and didn't end up filing my 2018 return until March of 2020 (and it had to be on paper, since electronic filing for tax year 2018 was no longer available after October 2019). Thus, since they haven't processed my 2018 paper return yet, and aren't currently processing any paper returns at all, they won't have the information they need to evaluate my eligibility until they process my 2019 return. I owed small amounts in both years, so until or unless the IRS Get My Payment link will let me inform them of my direct deposit information, I will presumably get a paper check much later in the year. My current plan is to wait until a couple of days after the date they say they will process my 2019 return (May 4), hopefully by that time they will have my income information and will be able to confirm that I didn't make too much to be eligible, and then try using the Get My Payment link at that time to see if they will let me give them my direct deposit information.
posted by RichardP at 1:00 PM on April 17, 2020

There's an entry about this in the IRS' FAQ:
In certain cases, the Get My Payment app will be unable to tell you the status of your payment. You may receive this message for one of the following reasons:

If you are not eligible for a payment (see IRS.gov on who is eligible and who is not eligible)
If you are required to file a tax return and have not filed in tax year 2018 or 2019.
If you recently filed your return or provided information through Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info on IRS.gov. Your payment status will be updated when processing is completed.
If you are a SSA or RRB Form 1099 recipient, SSI or VA benefit recipient – the IRS is working with your agency to issue your payment; your information is not available in this app yet.
You can check the app again to see whether there has been an update to your information. Get My Payment data is updated once per day, so there’s no need to check back more frequently.
posted by Sublimity at 2:12 PM on April 17, 2020

You filed your taxes 8 days/5 business days I filed mine the 13th, and had the stimulus 2 days later.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 2:50 PM on April 17, 2020

I am having a similar problem, and am seeing the same error message. I qualify for the payment and filed 2018 and 2019 taxes. Since I owed money both years, it seems that the IRS does not have my direct deposit information, but I can't get past the "Payment Status Not Available" error message to give my bank information to them. There's another site for non-filers to give bank information, but it clearly says not to use this site if you filed.

I've been researching this online, and it seems that "Payment Status Not Available" is the error message the IRS is using for a variety of problems. It might happen if you are entering your information incorrectly, such as your address. I've seen suggestions online to try entering your address differently (Street instead of St, E instead of East), but I've tried that and it didn't work for me. The only options I've been left with are 1) keep trying the Get My Payment site occasionally to see if it provides different information, but don't try more than 3 time in 24 hours or the site will lock me out and 2) wait and hope I get a check in the mail.
posted by kjnet at 3:06 PM on April 17, 2020

CNN.com: 5 reasons you may not have gotten your stimulus money yet

Number one seems most relevant here, if I'm reading your situation correctly -

1) You didn't get a federal tax refund in 2018 or 2019
Even if you filed your 2018 or 2019 taxes electronically, that doesn't mean the IRS can direct-deposit the money into your bank account. You must have also received a refund in those years via direct deposit to get the money delivered automatically. The IRS is not using bank account information it may have used to withdraw from your account if you owed money.

For the record, the other reasons are:

2) Your refund went to an old bank account.

3) Your refund went to a temporary account set up by a tax preparer.

4) You filed a paper return in 2019.

5) You aren't normally required to file a tax return.
posted by soundguy99 at 4:52 AM on April 18, 2020 [1 favorite]

Similar situation here: filed 2018 taxes electronically using Turbo Tax, owed some money and did an ACH payment from my checking account. Did not yet file 2019 taxes. I haven't received the money, and when I check I get the dreaded "Payment Status Not Available" message.

Note the URL for "Payment Status Not Available" has "generic_error" in it, which gives little confidence that the system is working as designed was designed well.
posted by soylent00FF00 at 7:56 AM on April 18, 2020 [1 favorite]

WaPo has published: Stimulus check glitches: Why you’re having trouble and what you can do about it (April 18, 2020)
posted by katra at 5:14 PM on April 19, 2020

I just tried this morning, and it's working now - I was able to get past the "Payment Status Not Available" error, and this time I was asked to confirm my AGI and payment made from my 2018 tax return, and give the IRS my checking account info to direct the payment. (My situation: I had not filed 2019 taxes yet, and on 2018 taxes had owed money, and paid using ACH using Turbotax.)
posted by soylent00FF00 at 8:51 AM on April 25, 2020

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