Still no coronavirus stimulus check? Requesting payment trace may help

Updated on

The IRS started sending out the third stimulus checks last month, and millions of eligible people have already received the payment. However, if you are one of those who hasn’t yet gotten the payment, or you believe your payment is lost, then in some specific cases, you can request a payment trace of your coronavirus stimulus check.

Get The Full Ray Dalio Series in PDF

Get the entire 10-part series on Ray Dalio in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues

Q1 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Coronavirus stimulus check: when to request payment trace

If you haven’t yet received your stimulus payment, you first need to check the status of your payment on the IRS Get My Payment Tool. If the tool shows that your payment was sent, but you haven’t received it yet, then you need to consider doing a payment trace.

However, you should wait at least five days after the direct deposit date shown in the tool to do a payment trace. In case you were to get a paper check, then you should file the payment trace four weeks after the tool shows the IRS mailed the check.

Another scenario in which you can request a payment trace is when you get a letter from the IRS saying your payment was sent, but you never received it. Usually, the IRS sends a letter after two weeks of sending a payment, informing you that your payment is sent. The letter also informs of the ways to contact the IRS, in case of any issues.

If you got this letter (called Notice 1444), but not the payment, then you need to request a payment trace. Keep the letter with you as it will help you in getting the payment.

How to request payment trace

Talking about how to request a payment trace, you can either call the IRS at 800-919-9835, or fax Form 3911 (Taxpayer Statement Regarding Refund) to the number for your state in the list here.

To fill out Form 3911, the IRS has come up with the following instructions:

  • On top of the form, you need to write EIP3 (Economic Impact Payment 3).
  • Answer all the refund related questions.
  • Check the box for "Individual" as the Type of return when filling item 7 under Section 1.
  • The tax period year will be “2021.”
  • Date Filed column should be left blank.
  • Don’t forget to sign the form. If you’re married and file together, both spouses need to sign the form.

A point to note is that you shouldn’t mail in Form 3911 if you already requested a payment trace by phone. Also, the IRS says you must not use this method to contact the agency to determine your eligibility for the stimulus payment, or to find out about the amount of your stimulus check.

As per the IRS’ website, they will reply to your payment trace request within six weeks of receiving the request. This timeline, however, could be extended because of the shortage of staff due to the coronavirus pandemic.