Stimulus checks – How to file a Recovery Rebate Credit if you haven't received first or second Covid payments

TWO waves of the third stimulus check have now been sent out to 127 million Americans, but many are still left waiting for the federal financial aid to arrive.

This includes those who didn't receive the initial $1,200 stimulus checks last spring, or the second round of $600 payments at the beginning of January.

With regard to the latest round of payments, $1,400 checks, the IRS said the first payments were primarily sent to eligible taxpayers who provided direct deposit information on their 2019 to 2020 returns.

This included people who don't typically file a return but successfully used the Non-Filers tool on the IRS' website last year.

In total, the IRS says it's sent out $1,400 checks to more than 127 million people, totalling $325 billion.

However, if you never received your first or second stimulus payments, the only way to do so is to file what's known as a Recovery Rebate Credit.

This must be filed on your 2020 taxes – and even if you don't file taxes, you can still file for the credit.

For the third stimulus payment, 30 million Americans who receive Social Security, Veterans Administration or Railroad Retirement benefits have still not received their money.

Lawmakers have pressed the Social Security Administration (SSA) and IRS to issue those funds as quickly as possible.

Last week, the SSA said it has now provided the IRS with the necessary information to make those payments.

However, an exact date as to when those thrird round of payment will be issued has not yet been disclosed.

In the meantime, anyone waiting can use the "Get My Payment" tool on the IRS' website to track the status of their check.

While some users of the tool have complained they've been greeted by a message reading, "Payment Status Not Available", the IRS has insisted there's no need to panic.

The government agency says this message doesn't mean you're not eligible for the payment or that you won't be receiving one, you'll just instead likely have to wait until its been issued to track it.

For anyone who doesn't receive a direct deposit, the IRS advises periodically checking your mail.

The IRS is sending out physical checks and prepaid debit cards, known as Economic Impact Payment Cards, for those whose direct deposit information was not available.

The agency also asks anyone with questions about their payment not to call them directly.

Instead, if you received a confirmation letter (Notice 1444 or Notice 144-B) from the IRS saying your payment was issued, but you didn't get it, you can request an IRS payment trace.

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