‘Payment status not available’ error message from IRS website greeted Americans hoping to find the status of their $1,200 stimulus check
With many Americans out of jobs, the government said on Monday that the first wave of stimulus payments for individuals is expected to begin today, Wednesday. However, many Americans hoping to find out if and when they would receive their coronavirus stimulus check were greeted by an unusual message on the Internal Revenue Service’s website: “Payment status not available.” Before you pull your hair out, at least one Reddit user reported receiving the error message despite already receiving payment from the IRS.
According to IRS, Americans making less than $75,000 will receive $1,200; couples filing jointly and earning under $150,000 will receive $2,400. Tax payer with children will also receive $500 per child. IRS also plans to launch a website by Friday that will inform people of when they will receive their checks.
The IRS launched a long-promised “Get My Payment” web portal Wednesday so American could track their stimulus checks and update their bank information in order to receive payment faster. But the tool appears to be experiencing some technical difficulties due to the overwhelming demand from people desperate for financial assistance amid the pandemic.
IRS later explained the reason for the error message in its FAQ section. Below is what IRS said to the question: “Why am I receiving an error message when answering the security questions?”
“To ensure the information is entered correctly, please use the help tips provided when entering the information requested to verify your identity. If the information you enter does not match our records, you will receive an error message. Check the information requested to ensure you entered it accurately. You may want to check your most recent tax return or consider if there is a different way to enter your street address. If the information you enter does not match our records multiple times, you will be locked out of Get My Payment for 24 hours for security reasons. There is no need to contact the IRS.”
A spokesperson for the Treasury Department said the “Payment Status Not Available” message means the IRS cannot determine eligibility, which could be caused by not filing a tax return in either 2018 or 2019. Taxpayers might also receive the error if they recently filed their tax return and it hasn’t been fully processed, according to the spokesperson.
IRS also added that people who filed a tax return for 2019 or 2018, the tax payers do not need to take any action if:
- have already filed their tax returns this year for 2019. The IRS will use this information to calculate the payment amount.
- haven’t filed yet for 2019 but filed a 2018 federal tax return. For these taxpayers the IRS will use their information from 2018 tax filings to make the Economic Impact Payment calculations.
Below is a screenshot of the error message.