Getting error when tracking coronavirus stimulus payments?

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Millions of Americans are expecting to get their stimulus payments this week. These payments are part of the $2.2 trillion-dollar Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was approved late last month. These funds are meant to provide much-needed financial relief to those struggling to meet their daily expenses due to the outbreak. However, many are still waiting for their coronavirus stimulus payments. Though the IRS has launched a portal to track the stimulus payments, for some it is not working while for some it is throwing out an error. If you are also facing issues or getting an error, then detailed below is the step-by-step guide on how to accurately track the stimulus payments and what the errors could mean.

How to track stimulus check

If you qualify for the coronavirus stimulus check, then you can easily track the payment by going to the Get My Payment web portal. Below are the steps that will help you to track the payment accurately.

1. Go to the Get My Payment page, and click the blue Get My Payment button.

2. You will land on a new page, asking for your authorization. Press OK.

3. Now you will have to enter your details on the Get My Payment page. The details you need to fill in are social security number (SSN) or individual tax ID (ITIN), date of birth, street address and ZIP code. Once you are done with the details, tap Continue.

4. You will now land on a new page, which will show your payment status, including if it’s been paid or scheduled or if the service needs more information to determine the status of your payment.

So, if you perform the above steps correctly, you will get the status of your stimulus payments.

In case you are unable to access the portal, then be patient, try again a little later. Due to heavy traffic, it may happen that the portal takes longer to load.

In case you are not satisfied with the status of your payment, then again, it is better to try again later. The IRS updates the portal with the information on who has and hasn’t received the payment once a day.

Getting an error message: what does it mean?

Many users have reported getting a confusing error message: “Payment Status Not Available” when trying to track stimulus payments. When a user gets this error message, they are directed to a FAQ page with a message that “according to the information we have on file, we cannot determine your eligibility for a payment at this time.”

If you also got this message, then the IRS lists several reasons why you may be getting it. These reasons are:

  • You may not be eligible for the stimulus payments.
  • You have not filed taxes for years 2018 or 2019.
  • If you only recently filed the return or made available the information via Non-Filers, the payment status will show up after the information is processed.
  • You may also get the message if you are a SSA or RRB Form 1099 recipient, SSI or VA benefit recipient.

What’s even more puzzling is that a user gets the same message if they enter wrong or fake information for a social security number, date of birth, or address, notes a report from Forbes. This seems to suggest that the message “Payment Status Not Available” is a generic error message that the system generates for all cases, except for the ones whose payment information has been processed.

This seems to be confusing as users have no means to know exactly why they even got the message. It has clearly frustrated a lot of users, who took to social media platforms to express their disappointment.

“Everyone is getting the same thing, and now I’m locked out for 24 hours because I tried too much. This is infuriating. Imagine families living paycheck to paycheck trying to get this stimulus to live and the website is broken so they keep getting that error message,” a Reddit user said.

No information from IRS

The IRS does not offer any fix or guidance on how to get the status if a user gets this “Payment Status Not Available” confusing message. The department only asks users to check back for updates. “More information will be shared on shortly on some common questions taxpayers are asking,” the IRS says.

Apart from this error message “Payment Status Not Available,” users reported getting a few more messages. One user reportedly got a message that the information entered does not match with the information that the IRS has on the user. Some said they were unable to update the incorrect bank account information. One user even noted that he got a message that his payment was deposited on April 15, but when he asked his bank, they told him that he got no such payment.

On the other hand, there are a few error messages that one can fix. For instance, if you get a message that the IRS “needs more information,” then it could mean that the agency does not have information on your direct deposit. In such cases, you need to provide your bank account details after your identity is verified.