The Internal Revenue Service has finally begun distributing the new round of stimulus checks that were authorized as part of the American Rescue Plan of 2021.
In an update last week, the IRS said the “official” payment date is this Wednesday, March 17, but some taxpayers with direct deposit may already see the payment as pending in their bank accounts. Although payments begin going out this week, it will likely take a few weeks to deliver them all. As usual, taxpayers with direct deposit will largely be the first to receive them, followed by mailed payments, which will come either as a debit card or a paper check.
The American Rescue Plan authorizes Economic Impact Payments of up to $1,400 per person, plus an additional $1,400 for each dependent.
If you’re expecting a payment, the best way to check the status is through the Get My Payment portal. However, some users were not having much luck with that tool as of Tuesday. Even after they verified their identity, they’re seeing the message: “Payment Status Not Available.”
The IRS says this message could be due to one of a few reasons:
- Your payment hasn’t been processed yet
- The IRS doesn’t have enough info to issue you a payment
- You’re not eligible to receive a payment
Fortunately, we’re just at the beginning of this process, so if you’re seeing the message now but have already provided all the information the IRS needs, there’s a good chance the tool will update once the payment has been processed. As the IRS continues the processing and distribution process, it asks that taxpayers keep checking back for updates.