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

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  • Millions of Americans are owed more coronavirus stimulus money.
  • These funds can be claimed by filing taxes.
  • The IRS has tools to help you see when it will be sending out the money due.

Find out when to expect your unpaid stimulus funds.

In 2021, many individuals and families were entitled to thousands of dollars in stimulus money under the American Rescue Plan Act. The COVID-19 relief legislation authorized the IRS to pay out much of the funds that were authorized to help struggling families by depositing the money into people's bank accounts over the course of the year.

Although the money was sent out over time and not during tax-filing season, each of the stimulus payments was actually an advance on a tax credit that Congress authorized. This means that anyone who didn't get the stimulus funds they were due can claim the tax credits just as they would any others -- by filing a 1040 form during tax season.

File your taxes to claim your funds

Millions of families are still owed payments, including those who hadn't filed recent tax returns, people who added new dependents in 2021, and parents who received only part of the Expanded Child Tax Credit. And the IRS has begun accepting tax returns that must be filed to obtain this money. Once those returns are submitted and processed, the IRS will send tax refunds that include any stimulus money still due.

The IRS has also recently issued a news alert reminding people about 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 need to know.

Use these tools see where your stimulus money is

The recent IRS news release provided two different tools that taxpayers could use to track the status of their tax refunds. This includes the:

  • "Where's My Refund?" online tool found at the website
  • IRS2Go Mobile app, which is available on the Google Play store, the App Store for iOS devices, and

If you e-file returns, you can check the status of your refund as soon as 24 hours after the submitted forms have been received by the IRS. If you mailed in a tax return, however, you will have to wait for four weeks from the time you sent your documents in the mail to the IRS to check your refund status. You will need to know the amount of your refund as well as the Social Security number o taxpayer ID associated with your returns.

While encouraging taxpayers to use this tool, the IRS also issued a reminder: "This year, more than ever before, those who don't normally have to file a tax return may wish to do so to get child-related tax credits that were expanded by the American Rescue Plan."

If you submit your forms and are due this stimulus money, the payments will be added to any other money you overpaid the IRS. This can include excess funds that were withheld from your paycheck if your employer took more taxes out of your paychecks than you owed.

You will receive one combined refund check with all of the funds the government owes you. And these tools will let you know when that cash will come so you can put it to good use.

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