IRS gives one shot at sending out a second $600 stimulus check — here’s what to do if you miss it

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As $600 stimulus checks roll out, some Americans are anxiously awaiting their own direct payments to hit their bank account or show up in their mailbox.  

That wait could be awhile in some circumstances — and offer little comfort for those who need the money right now.

The Internal Revenue Service said Tuesday it’s not going to re-issue $600 payments that come back to the agency if a bank account listed on a 2019 tax return is now closed or inactive.

Instead, the would-be recipients will have to claim the amount when they file their taxes this year, according to the IRS. It’s just as someone would have to do if they didn’t get the $1,200 payment in the early spring’s first round of payments.   

The IRS isn’t engaging in do-overs on the $600 checks because another tax-filing season is approaching. The tax collection agency says it has to act fast under a “compressed timeline.” (The IRS did have a process to claim missing or stymied checks for the $1,200 payments.)

Learn more here about how to claim the money.

The IRS and the Treasury Department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on when tax season starts this year. Last year, the IRS started accepting and processing returns on Jan. 27.

Don’t miss: Meet the Americans who are first in line to file their taxes

The IRS said it couldn’t re-issue stymied stimulus checks and also explained what various responses mean on the ‘Get My Payment’ portal.

  • If the portal says “Payment Status #2 – Not Available,” the second economic impact payment isn’t coming and the person will have to claim it on their taxes.

  • If the portal shows a direct deposit date and a part of an account, that’s where the money is.

  • If it says the payment was mailed, it could take between three and four weeks for the paper check or a pre-paid debit card to show up in the mail.

The “Get My Payment” tool is in “heavy demand,” the IRS
said. Once it reaches an unspecified maximum number of accesses, the portal
will tell users to check back the next day. Bear in mind the portal is updated
once a day, so status information won’t change between the morning and
afternoon.  

“The IRS
is working hard to deliver the second Economic Impact Payment quickly, as
required by law, while still preparing for the upcoming 2021 tax filing season,”
the agency said, adding it turned around the second round of payments in “record
time.”

The IRS started the direct deposit process last Tuesday and the mailing process last Wednesday. The agency recommends that once tax season starts, people should file their taxes electronically to quicken processing.

Around early December, the IRS was still trying to get out from under a backlog in paper mail correspondence, including approximately 1 million unprocessed 2019 paper returns filed via mail. The agency closed down its physical offices for several months as the pandemic first hit in early spring.



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