How to trace a missing IRS payment – Forbes Advisor

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Missing a monthly child tax credit payment, an economic impact payment (aka stimulus check), or a tax refund? You may need to request a payment record from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

You can also do this if you have misplaced a check given to you by the IRS or, in some cases, if you have provided the IRS with a incorrect bank account number.

Before starting a payment trace, check with the IRS for the status of your payment.

If you have filed a tax return and expect a tax refund, you can use the Where is my refund tool or the IRS2Go mobile application to determine your refund status.

If you are missing a monthly child tax credit payment, check your status with the IRS Child Tax Credit Update Portal.

Finally, if you are looking for your stimulus payment, you can check Get my payment. If the IRS agrees with your request, it will credit your tax account for your stimulus payments. However, you will need to claim the 2020 recovery rebate credit on your 2020 income tax return to recover your funds.

Here’s how to request a payment record and what you need to know.

What is a payment record?

The IRS allows taxpayers to initiate a request to locate a missing, stolen, or lost payment. Once you start the payment trace, the IRS will determine if the check has been cashed. If not, the IRS will cancel the payment and issue a replacement. Check. For payments sent by direct deposit, the IRS will contact the bank to attempt to collect the payments. Banks have up to 90 days from the initial payment trace to respond to the IRS request.

Before initiating a payment trace, you will have to wait until the following time limits have elapsed:

  • Five days from the scheduled filing date
  • Four weeks after sending the check to your mailing address
  • Six weeks after sending the check to a forwarding address
  • Nine weeks since the check was mailed to a foreign address

If you have lost a check, you can immediately initiate a payment trace to request that the check be canceled and reissued.

You can initiate a payment trace either by phone at (800) 829-1954 or (800) 919-9835 for stimulus payments, or by completing Form 3911, Taxpayer Return Regarding Refund. If you are married and file a joint tax return with your spouse, the IRS will not allow you to initiate your claim over the phone; you will both need to complete Form 3911.

How to Complete the IRS 3911 Payment Tracking Form

To request your payment trace, you will need to provide information using form 3911:

  • Your name, address, telephone and identification number
  • Your power of attorney information, if applicable
  • Type of payment (check or direct deposit)
  • Payment information, if it has been lost, stolen or destroyed
  • Any correspondence received from the IRS regarding the payment
  • Your bank details

The form requires you to sign under penalty of perjury, certifying that the information provided is correct. You will also need to include a description of the check, such as the repayment date and the payment amount.

For missing Economic Impact Payments, you may need to take a few additional steps. The IRS requires you to write “EIP” followed by the number 1, 2 or 3, identifying the series of stimulus payments you want. trace.

Once the form is completed, send it to the IRS the address where you file paper income tax returns.

How long does it take for the IRS to process a payment trace?

Typically, you can expect the IRS to take a payment trail within six weeks from the date of your request. However, you might experience Processing delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

After the IRS processes your payment trail, if it finds that your check has been cashed, it will send you a Bureau of the Fiscal Service (BFS) claim package. The BFS will review your request and compare your signature with the signature on the check before reissuing your payment by check.


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