Update on the Stimulus: How to Check the Status of Your Unclaimed Stimulus Payments


The American Rescue Plan Act entitled many individuals and families to thousands of dollars in stimulus funds in 2021. The COVID-19 relief legislation authorised the IRS to pay out a large portion of the funds authorised to assist struggling families by depositing the funds into people’s bank accounts over the course of the year.

Although the funds were distributed over time rather than during tax season, each stimulus payment was actually an advance on a tax credit authorised by Congress. This means that anyone who did not receive the stimulus funds they were due can still claim the tax credits by filing a 1040 form during tax season, just like everyone else.

To Claim Your Funds, You Must File Your Taxes.

Millions of families are still owed money, including those who haven’t filed their tax returns in a while, those who added new dependents in 2021, and parents who received only a portion of the Expanded Child Tax Credit. In addition, the IRS has begun accepting tax returns that must be filed in order to receive this money. Once those returns have been submitted and processed, the IRS will issue tax refunds that include any remaining stimulus funds.

The IRS also issued a news alert recently reminding people how to check the status of their refunds to find out when their stimulus payments and other refunded money will arrive. Here’s what you should know.

  • According to a recent IRS press release, taxpayers can use two different tools to track the status of their tax refunds. This includes the following:
  • “What happened to my refund?” IRS2Go Mobile app, which is available on the Google Play store, the App Store for iOS devices, and Amazon.com.

If you e-file your returns, you can check the status of your refund as soon as 24 hours after the IRS receives the forms. If you mailed in your tax return, you will have to wait four weeks from the time you mailed your documents to the IRS to check your refund status. You must know the amount of your refund as well as the Social Security number or taxpayer ID number associated with your returns.

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While encouraging taxpayers to use this tool, the IRS also reminded them that “this year, more than ever before, those who don’t normally have to file a tax return may wish to do so in order to take advantage of child-related tax credits expanded by the American Rescue Plan.”

If you submit your forms and are eligible for the stimulus funds, the payments will be added to any other money you owe the IRS. This can include excess funds withheld from your paycheck if your employer withheld more taxes from your pay than you owed.

You will receive one combined refund check for all of the funds owed to you by the government. And these tools will notify you when the money will arrive so you can put it to good use.

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