This simple trick may fix coronavirus stimulus check tool problems

coronavirus stimulus check problemsgeralt / Pixabay

The IRS overhauled the tool that tracks coronavirus stimulus checks, but many are still having problems with it. Now we’re hearing of a strange trick that seems to work for many people who receive the “payment status not available” error that’s been plaguing people for weeks.

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Fix for problems with the coronavirus stimulus check website

The trick is very simple. According to the Los Angeles Times, if you receive the "payment status not available" error, just go back to the first page of the tool where you enter your information and try entering your street address in all caps. For easy access, the "Get My Payment" tool can be found here.

For some reason, this trick enables people who have been receiving the error for weeks to get into the tool, see their payment status, and enter their bank information if necessary. Entering your bank information will enable you to receive your coronavirus stimulus check via direct deposit much faster without any problems.

Apparently, there is a technical reason that this trick works, but the LA Times doesn't explain what that reason is.

Why your economic impact payment may be late

The IRS has sent out about 90 million coronavirus stimulus checks so far, but due to a variety of problems, many Americans are still waiting. In the meantime, unpaid bills are piling up. There are several reasons your economic impact payment may not have arrived yet.

The most common reason is because the IRS doesn't have your bank account information. Many consumers haven't been able to provide their direct deposit information due to the "payment status not available" error, but the trick we explained above should help with this problem.

If the IRS hasn't already mailed your paper check, you will still have time to enter your information. If you enter it before Thursday of this week, it should be in your account next week, according to the timeline from the House Ways and Means Committee.

Some taxpayers won't be receiving a coronavirus stimulus check because they make too much money, while others won't receive one because they're being claimed by someone else as a dependent.

Other issues

Another potential problem with the coronavirus stimulus checks is that the IRS may not be putting the money in the right account. This can happen if you use a tax preparer that provides an advance on your tax return and loads whatever is left after their fee onto a debit card.

In some cases, you may have disposed of the debit card, but if you use Jackson Hewitt, you can request a replacement card if the money was loaded onto there. The "Get My Payment" tool can also be used to update bank account information.

Some consumers have found that debt collectors have snatched their economic impact payment. The National Consumer Law Center says that some states, Washington, D.C., and some cities and counties have enacted orders to prevent debt collectors from taking these payments.

Finally, some immigrants and spouses of immigrants are having problems with their coronavirus stimulus checks. Green-card holders will receive an economic impact payment, but those with pending green-card applications may not. There are also news reports indicating that some spouses of immigrants aren't receiving stimulus checks. In fact, CBS News reports that President Trump  has been sued for blocking economic stimulus checks to U.S. citizens who are married to immigrants who don't have Social Security Numbers.

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About the Author

Michelle Jones
Michelle Jones was a television news producer for eight years. She produced the morning news programs for the NBC affiliates in Evansville, Indiana and Huntsville, Alabama and spent a short time at the CBS affiliate in Huntsville. She has experience as a writer and public relations expert for a wide variety of businesses. Michelle has been with ValueWalk since 2012 and is now our editor-in-chief. Email her at [email protected]

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