CHICAGO (CBS)– Are you or a loved one still waiting on your stimulus money? The IRS reports it has sent about 159 million stimulus payments so far, yet a new analysis by lawmakers found that about 35 million people still haven’t got a check.
CBS 2 is Working For Chicago to bring you information about the unemployment crisis that will help you get back on your feet. CBS 2’s Audrina Bigos asked tax policy expert Janet Holtzblatt about possible reasons you haven’t gotten a check.
“Many people lost their just job this year and income went way down,” Holtzblatt said. “They need the payment now, but the IRS doesn’t know that. They’re going to have to wait until they file their 2020 tax return and they’ll be able to claim and receive the payment.”
Another reason, the IRS is scheduling your payment for later in the year. They have up to 20 weeks and are prioritizing low income individuals.
It’s also possible your check was sent to a closed account. The bank will reject the deposit and the IRS will then issue you a paper check.
If you sent your 2019 return by mail, it could be sitting unopened in a trailer, since the IRS offices are closed during the pandemic. In that case, you’re seeing “Payment Status Not Available”
If you owe back child support, that cancels out your check. If you had insufficient funds in the bank account, the bank could have held the money.
“People may have thought it was junk mail. If I got it, I would have torn it up,” Holtzbaltt said. “If you think you received it, go to the IRS website and follow the instructions as to how to get a free replacement.”
She says the group that concerns her the most is people who don’t file tax returns. She said this group could be seniors, or those with the lowest incomes. There is a page on the IRS website to enter your information until October 15 to get a check this year.