Initially of the tax season, many marvel the place their $ 600 stimulus checks are

As tax season officially kicks off, many Americans still ask, “Where’s my $ 600 stimulus check?”

The stimulus payments were approved by Congress as part of a $ 900 billion Covid aid package passed in December. Within a few days, the federal government began to use the money.

This included payments of $ 600 per person or $ 1,200 per couple filing together, plus $ 600 per child under 17 years of age.

Like the first $ 1,200 stimulus checks the government sent out to millions of Americans last spring, payments are based on income.

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Individuals with Adjusted Gross Income of up to $ 75,000, Heads of Households up to $ 112,500, and married couples filing up to $ 150,000 together are eligible for full payments.

To date, more than 147 million of the second stimulus checks, valued at more than $ 142 billion, have been sent, the IRS said Tuesday.

In January, people reported problems with the Tax Administration’s online tool, Pay My Payment. To get a feel for how widespread the problem was, CNBC.com asked readers if they were having any problems getting their payments.

Hundreds of readers replied.

Some wanted to know why they got the first $ 1,200 direct deposit or check with no issue, but were still waiting for the second. Others receiving social security or other federal benefits wondered why they are still waiting. Some wanted to know why information from the IRS showed the check had been mailed, but weeks later there was still no evidence.

The IRS said Tuesday it had issued all “legally permitted” first and second stimulus check payments.

If you’re one of those people waiting for your $ 600 check, there are several steps you can take.

Reconsider whether you are eligible for the money

While the $ 600 payments are similar to the initial $ 1,200 stimulus checks, there are a few differences that can affect whether you get paid and how much you might get.

The checks for $ 600 will expire at the same rate as the first payments. Checks are discounted by 5% of the amount that your Adjusted Gross Income is above the full payment thresholds.

However, because it is a smaller sum, the $ 600 payments have lower caps than the $ 1,200 payments. Individuals with Adjusted Gross Income of $ 87,000, Heads of Households with $ 124,500, and Married Couples with $ 174,000 generally receive no payment.

This time, the payments are based on tax returns for 2019, while the first checks were used for either 2018 or 2019. If your first check for $ 1,200 was based on your 2018 tax return and your income has changed significantly since then, it could affect the amount.

Other things to consider: Eligibility may be compromised if you have been claimed to be dependent on someone else’s return, if you did not have a valid Social Security number, or if you are a non-resident alien. People in such situations are not entitled to payment.

On the other hand, those who have unpaid debts are still eligible.

“Unlike other tax refunds, the IRS is not allowed to garnish or collect these payments to settle other tax debts. So that’s really no problem,” said Joe Bishop-Henchman, vice president of the National Taxpayers Union Foundation.

Use IRS tools to learn more about your payment

There’s no better time to think about next year’s taxes than right after filing this year.

Jayme Thornton | Tooga Productions | Getty Images

If you want answers to your questions, please contact an official source.

When we made a troubleshooting request, some people responded with their full names, addresses, and social security numbers.

Please do not pass this information on to third parties until you are sure that they can check the status of your payment for you. In general, that just means the IRS.

Beware of scammers trying to pretend to be a state tax agency to get your personal financial information.

The IRS has put in place ways people can verify their payment.

This includes an online tool called Get My Payment. However, the IRS now states on its website that this tool will no longer be updated for either the first or second stimulus test.

If the Get My Payments website shows a direct deposit date and some of your bank account information, your money should be there. Failure to recognize the account number doesn’t necessarily mean the money has gone to the wrong place, according to the IRS. Therefore, you don’t need to file an identity theft affidavit to alert the IRS to suspicious activity.

If instead an email date appears for your check on the Get My Payment website, the IRS advises that it can take up to three to four weeks for the check to arrive. Look out for a check or debit card that comes in an envelope with the US Treasury Department’s seal on it.

If you still have questions about the whereabouts of your payment, there is another thing you can do: request payment tracking.

It must be some time before you can initiate a trace. For direct deposits, this is five days from the date of the deposit, unless the bank has a record of receipt of the payment.

For the second $ 600 stimulus check, the check will begin on February 24th if sent to a standard address. If you have deposited a forwarding address with the post office, you should wait until March 10th. Individuals and families with foreign addresses should provide them by March 31st.

Payment tracks should not be used to find out if you are eligible or to check how much money you can get.

To help with specific questions about economic impact payments, the IRS has set up a live assistance phone number. However, the agency says aid is “extremely limited at the moment”. A separate phone number is available for anyone with questions about Stimulus debit card payments.

Apply for a discount credit refund with your tax return

If your efforts still don’t bring payment, you can apply for a refund credit when you file your taxes in the spring.

“They made all payments, according to the IRS, so if you didn’t get them in the mail, you will likely have to use the tax form route,” said Bishop-Henchman.

Those who are eligible for the Refund Credit include those who have either not received stimulus checks or have direct payments received for less than owed.

If you have already received some money, the balance you receive will be reduced by that amount.

Individuals and families who typically fail to file their taxes, often because their income is too low, must do so this year to receive credit.

A worksheet is available with Forms 1040 and 1040-SR (a senior tax return form) to help you determine whether or not you qualify for the money.

Additionally, free filing tools through the IRS and certain tax preparation websites can help individuals and families submit their information to receive credit without paying.

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