by Kailey Hagen | Aug. 31, 2020
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Certain Americans are still owed their first stimulus check. Here are the details on who's getting paid and how.
The IRS announced Tuesday that 50,000 Americans who had their stimulus checks wrongfully withheld can expect to receive their funds in early- to mid-September. The mistake arose because a CARES Act provision enabled the federal government to garnish stimulus checks to pay past-due child support. Unfortunately, that resulted in the government accidentally withholding stimulus checks from the spouses who were owed the past-due child support as well.
If that’s your situation, there's no need to do anything to claim your stimulus check. The government will automatically send you a check for the amount that was wrongfully applied toward your spouse's past-due child support.
You can track your stimulus check and see how the government is planning to deliver it to you using the Get My Payment tool on the IRS website. Payment status is updated overnight, so there's no need to check more than once per day.
Note that some stimulus checks that say they're arriving as paper checks actually show up as debit cards. These arrive in a plain envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services, so keep an eye out for one of these as well. If you have any other questions about your stimulus payment, visit the IRS's Economic Impact Payment Information Center.
This issue first came to light back in May, but it took some time to sort out. The government will be issuing checks in the next few weeks to spouses owed child support who submitted IRS Form 8379 -- Injured Spouse Allocation -- with their 2019 tax return (or with their 2018 tax return, if this was used to calculate their stimulus check eligibility).
If you didn't file Form 8379 but your stimulus check was withheld due to your spouse's past-due child support, you're not out of luck. However, you’ll have to wait a little longer. The IRS is aware of this issue and is working to ensure these individuals also receive the money they're owed. As of the publishing of this article, they don't have a time frame for when these checks will go out. You don't have to fill out Form 8379 or take any other action to get your check, though.
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