What To Do About A Lost COVID-19 Stimulus Payment

What To Do About A Lost COVID-19 Stimulus Payment


UPDATE 5-27-2020

The number listed below (800-919-9835) is apparently the number that the IRS is listing in the letters that it is sending out separate from the stimulus checks:
Those hoping to speak with a live person about their questions should call the phone number listed on the bottom of their stimulus check letter, 800-919-9835.   The IRS said Monday that once you call that number there will be an automated message to help answer most questions. Those who need additional assistance at the end of the message will then have the option of talking to a telephone representative. full story: Call The IRS
So the below information is moot.

************* end update

The material in this post is not guaranteed to help you rescue your stimulus payment from the bit bucket or thieves or whatever oblivion it may have fallen in to. This is the best shot that we have thus far in a problem that is under development.

I am not going to go in to the information that you should have already looked in to on the IRS website. You can also check the previous post that details the fact that you now may enter a foreign address into the Get My Payment tool if that interests you.

The caveat to the following is that it may all prove ineffective for you.

First, if you do call the IRS please be very patient with them. The people at the IRS who are taking calls are not responsible for whatever hardships you may be having. The IRS has undergone simultaneous budget cuts and workload increases, so be understanding with anyone you talk to at the agency. 

The number that many sites are saying one should call for lost Stimulus Payment specific questions is 800-919-9835. If you google that number you will not find it on the IRS website. I found it on numerous legitimate news websites and it does seem to be legitimate, but the fact that it is not on the IRS.gov website prevents me from trusting it enough to call it. By the time you are reading this article the number could very well be listed on the IRS site, so check it for yourself and use your better judgement.

You might also try contacting your Taxpayer Advocate if the above number fails for you:
Only contact the Taxpayer Advocate as a last resort and keep in mind that people are having mixed results with getting assistance in regard to the stimulus payment.

I may skip attempting to call the IRS anymore in favor of submitting a Form 3911 to the IRS by mail. This form is for a lost refund check, but agents have been directing tax payers to use it for stimulus checks as well. The form may take several months to process, especially for expats. I said that "agents" are directing people as to what to do, but I have no idea who is manning the phones for the IRS at this time. IRS may have outsourced the work, which would be another good reason not to call.

To fill out the form:

For "in reply to your inquiry on" you can enter the date you actually contacted the IRS or just the date you downloaded the form.

For "about your Federal tax return for" you can enter Stimulus Payment.

For "We sent you the following refund(s)" enter the amount of the stimulus payment in the first  space.

In the last line you can enter the date that the check or direct deposit was scheduled if you know it. The Get My Payment tool may show you this information or you may find out from alive person if you call the IRS.

Mark whether it was a check or a direct deposit.

"The U.S. Postal Service returned your check because they could not deliver it" - check it if you know for a fact that this happened, otherwise leave it blank.

"Your check was not cashed within one year of the issue date as the law requires and it can no longer be cashed." does not apply.

"If you did not receive the refund check, or if you received it and it was lost, stolen or destroyed, please complete Sections I, II and III." this is why you came here so check it and move to Section I.

Fill out Section I with your information and that of your spouse if you filed joint. If you are like me and your address changed since you filed, then enter CURRENT ADDRESS here and the address you entered on your return will be entered as shown below.

Make certain that you enter the address exactly as it is on the return.

Next, for "Type of return" I would check "other" and write in "Stimulus."

For "Type of refund requested" I would check "Direct Deposit" and then wrote in the amount of the stimulus payment on the space provided.

Section II

For #8 I would check "I didn’t receive a refund," and then skip to #11 to enter bank information. #11 does not ask for a routing number, but I would enter one just the same along with the account number. 

I would sign off Section III and skip Section IV as it does not apply to a check that I have never seen and for which the IRS can provide me no information.

I intend to include a cover letter with the form explaining all of the details.

Again, we are just taking a shot here. There is no guarantee that this will work, but it is the best option that some people may have at this point. I am going to try it. I intent to send the form through LBC to make sure that it gets to the IRS and fast. This will cost about $30.

The form is to be mailed to the "Internal Revenue Service center where you would normally file a paper tax return." To get the precise answer for exactly where to mail your form you need to go to the IRS website and click the state you entered on your last return or click International. Next click the type of form you used last time around and that should take you to the proper mailing address. For an expat who filed a 1040 that address is:
Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Austin, TX 73301-0215
Even though you put your bank information on the form it is most likely that you will receive any payment via Economic Impact Payment (EIP) Card. 

You can google the card or read about it here: https://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/taxes/T054-S001-stimulus-check-payments-by-prepaid-debit-card/index.html

The cards are provided by Meta Bank.

There are fees for some services offered by the cards, but you can have all funds transferred to your bank account at no charge. 

As an expat you may wish to have to have the card sent to your US mail forwarding address. If this is the case then you should have entered that as the first address on the Form 3911.

It is possible that the mail forwarding company can scan the card and your pin, then you can register for an account on the EIP Card site and transfer the balance of the card to your bank account.

In closing, this is all hypothetical. Use the information on this page at your own risk. There is probably no framework yet for reissuing stimulus checks and there may never be. It may also be possible to somehow claim these as a credit on the 2020 return.

I will be cleaning this entry up and updating it.

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