Dude, Where’s My Check?


(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

On April 26, an IRS media relations guy named Raphael Tulino sent out a press release titled, “IRS enhances Get My Payment online application to help taxpayers.”

To see whether the $1,200 stimulus payment that most of us (including me) are supposed to be getting, I’d just been using the check-your-bank-account-repeatedly method.

An online “Get My Payment” application sounded much more proactive. So, I gave it a try. Here’s a recap of how that went …

  • Went to, as instructed.
  • Clicked on “Get My Payment” (the upper right-hand option).
  • Noted warning that I will need either 2018 or 2019 (if filed) tax return to complete the application.
  • Spent 15 minutes finding that.
  • Clicked on “Get My Payment” again (blue button, middle of page).
  • Entered my personal info (social security number, date of birth, address from my tax return) and “continue.”
  • Got this message: “You are eligible for this payment. We do not have enough information to direct deposit your payment at this time. / Direct deposit is the fastest way to receive your payment.”
  • Desiring said “fastest way” to get my money, I clicked “ENTER BANK INFORMATION.”
  • Entered additional verification information (adjusted gross income and amount of tax owed from 2018), and bank account information (account and routing numbers) for direct deposit.
  • Got this message: “You have successfully submitted your bank account information. Your payment will be direct deposited into your bank account using the information you provided.”
  • Clicked “Exit”
  • Was told I had “been logged out.”
  • Mystified by the ambiguity of the former message, went back to and did steps 1, 2, and 5 again.
  • Now got this message: “You are eligible for the payment. Once we have your payment date, we will update this page.” Ah ha!
  • Clicked “Exit” again.
  • Was logged out again.
  • This time, clicked “Frequently Asked Questions.”
  • Read everything under “Payment Status” in the FAQs
  • Learned I’ll have to check back daily (it updates no more than once a day) until I get this status: “A payment has been processed, a payment date is available, and payment is to be sent either by direct deposit or mail.” That’s when my money will be on the way.
  • Logged out.
  • Checked back in the next day. Nothing.
  • Checked back in the next day. Nothing.
  • Checked back in the next day. Nothing.
  • Checked back in the next day. Nothing.

Support comes from

You’ll need the stuff in bold type above to complete the process, but if you have that, it’s simple.

The FAQs also seem thorough — and a Spanish-language version is supposed to be coming soon — but I’ve had the same name and residence for a long time. I’m sure there are people with more complicated situations whose questions aren’t answered there. And the Taxpayer Assistance Centers, or TACs, are closed with a message saying there’s no live telephone assistance at this time.

Tulino confirmed this. "IRS is staying safe too," he wrote in an email. "For now, and those FAQs are it. ... We know there are some Qs without As out there, but for now IRS is still asking ... begging even ... for patience." 

So, I guess we'll all just keep checking back. And waiting.

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