Editor’s note: This article has been updated with comment from the IRS.
A tool launched Wednesday by the Internal Revenue Service to track Americans’ stimulus relief checks is not working for many, according to individuals who reached out to CNBC Make It.
The Get My Payment tool is meant to give those eligible for a coronavirus stimulus check information on when they will receive their payment. Instead, many are receiving messages that their payment status is not available.
In most cases, this happened because the system was overloaded, Luis Garcia, an IRS spokesperson, told CNBC Make It.
“What happened is instead of having an error message or a message saying the system is very busy, it just says your information isn’t in here, that was the default,” says Garcia. But that should be fixed now.
“Just be patient, check back later,” he says. “If you filed last year’s or this year’s taxes we have your information.”
The agency’s website says that receiving “Payment Status Not Available” means the agency cannot determine your eligibility for a payment right now. “This may occur for a variety of reasons, for example, if you didn’t file either a 2018 or 2019 tax return or you recently filed and the return has not been fully processed,” the site says.
If you are eligible for a payment, but receive feedback that the IRS “needs more information,” then the agency does not have your direct deposit information on file, the agency’s FAQ says.
In that case, you will need to provide your bank account information, once you have verified your identity, to receive the check fastest, or wait for it to be mailed to you. You can use Get My Payment to update your direct deposit information if you did not use direct deposit on your last tax return to receive a refund, the IRS says. If your payment is pending or has been processed, you can no longer change your bank account information.
Payment status updates on the site are made no more than once each day.
Garcia encourages everyone to check the IRS’s website for the most up-to-date information. “Don’t worry about what your neighbor said or what you saw on Instagram,” he says. “Go to the IRS website, literally 99% of all the questions are answered right there.”
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