If you haven’t received your second stimulus payment yet, and see the message “Payment #2 – Status Not Available” on the IRS Get My Payment tool, it means you won’t receive it until you file your 2020 taxes and claim the payment as a Rebate Credit. This mostly happened to folks who changed bank accounts since the first stimulus payment. Since the IRS didn’t allow anyone to update their bank information for the second round of stimulus payments, mostly due to time constraints, the money was returned to the IRS and the IRS didn’t have time to issue a check before the payment deadline. If this applies to you, you’ll still get your money but it will be in the form of a credit on your 2020 tax return.
Get your next stimulus payment faster
Providing the IRS with your latest bank account information will speed up any upcoming stimulus check you might be eligible for. If the IRS has a bank account on file for you, the stimulus payment will be processed via direct deposit (instead of a check or a prepaid card) and you’ll get your money in a matter of days, not weeks. (Note: if you’re using a Lili account, you’ll get it even faster, up to 2 days earlier!)
It appears that a new round of stimulus checks is about to be approved by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Biden, and it’s unclear whether you will be able to update your bank account information specifically for that payment, although it appears unlikely (see number 3). But by filing your 2020 tax return early, you’re updating your info in the IRS system, which they will hopefully use to send this new round.
Also worth noting, there are talks of reducing the income eligibility for this new round of stimulus payments, taking the maximum income per individual from $75,000 down to $50,000. So if you were hit economically by the COVID pandemic and made significantly less money in 2020 than in 2019, you might want to update that information as well.
There will be delays
The IRS is about to be asked to process millions more stimulus checks right in the middle of tax season – these folks are going to get swamped, which means there will most likely be delays in the processing of tax refunds. So if you’re expecting a refund this year, and hope to get it sooner rather than later, you should file as early as you can.