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Friday, April 24, 2020

Still Haven't Received Your Stimulus Check Yet? Top Reasons Why

We haven't either, nor have we received the letter that a payment is forthcoming.  

However - we check the "Get My Payment" site every day and we finally got the "You are eligible - Need Your Bank Account Info for Direct Deposit" message.

Though you can't call the IRS due to shortened staff, several financial advising sites have been aggregating and analyzing a comparison of people who received them and those who didn't - and though there are several sites that explain their results, this site seems to lay it out the most succinctly. 

The first/top reason that more than over half the U.S. population hasn't received them yet is because the first round of payments went to people who received a refund in 2018 or 2019, rather than people who owed taxes (we did). 

This makes sense, if you think about it - not only are they the easiest for the IRS to get to first, but they are also the lowest-income people and the most at risk for losing their jobs, right now. 

However, if you're frustrated with watching national chains like Shake Shack and Ruth Chris Steakhouse, as well as expensive private universities like Harvard, receive giant stimulus checks they really don't need and argue amongst themselves about returning them -  before we, the American people, receive even our measly $1200, despite millions of laid off  - I feel you.

Even if you paid your taxes to the IRS from your bank account, they will still need ask for your bank bank account information at the Get My Payment site - which is what we just did. 

In other words, if you got a refund in 2018 or 2019, they have your bank account readily available, if you owed, they have to ask.

Note:  You cannot call the IRS to find out why. Well you can, but you will be told by automated recording that the staff has been cut due to COVID-19 and no one can accept your call.

*Also, the IRS will never call, email, or text you - only paper mail*.

Thus, if you receive a call, email, or text from someone claiming to be the IRS -  they are NOT the IRS, it's a scam - and you should report it to authorities immediately. 

Other next top 3 reasons are: 

1)  You didn't file taxes for 2018 or 2019.  (You don't have to file 2019 until July 15th now, but as I understand it, people who didn't file 2019 yet weren't in that first round of payments. 

2)  You used a third-party tax preparation service (not a CPA) such as Jackson-Hewitt, H&R Block, or TurboTax.   This is because there was a third party that you paid; thus, the IRS doesn't have your bank information on file. 
(Other than the fact that we owed rather than received refund in 2018/19, this is likely the additional reason that we weren't in that first round.)  

3)  They just haven't gotten to you yet, with a short staff - hang on tight - hopefully help is on the way - and if it helps, know that you're not alone. 

See the link above for any other possible reasons which are less common, but there are many financial advising sites explaining why - however, I just found that link laid it out pretty succinctly.

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