By: Rocky Mengle, Tax Editor Kiplinger April 17, 2020

Stimulus checks are already on the way–well, at least the direct deposit version of the payments. If you want to know when you’re going to get paid, the IRS now has an online tool that let’s you check the status of your stimulus check. It’s called the “Get My Payment” tool, and you can find it on the IRS website at Unfortunately, though, it looks like the IRS may have launched the tool before it was ready.

What Does the “Get My Payment” Tool Do?

The “Get My Payment” tool will let you:

  • Check the status of your stimulus payment;
  • Confirm your payment type (paper check or direct deposit);
  • Get a projected direct deposit or paper check delivery date (or find out if a payment hasn’t been scheduled); and
  • Enter your bank account information for direct deposit if the IRS doesn’t have your direct deposit information and they haven’t sent your payment yet.

The tool will be updated once daily, typically overnight. As a result, the IRS is urging people to only use the tool once per day, since there are millions of people expecting a payment who will want to use the tool.

What Information Will You Need?

For starters, you’ll be asked to provide a:

  • Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax ID Number (ITIN);
  • Date of birth;
  • Street address; and
  • Five-digit ZIP or postal code.

If you need to add bank account information to get your stimulus check directly deposited into your account, you will also need to provide:

  • Your adjusted gross income from the most recent tax return you filed (either your 2019 or 2018 return);
  • The refund or amount owed from your latest filed tax return;
  • The type of your bank account (e.g., savings or checking); and
  • Your bank account and routing numbers.

The “Get My Payment” tool cannot update bank account information after your stimulus check has been scheduled for delivery. To help protect against potential fraud, the tool also doesn’t allow people to change bank account information already on file with the IRS.

If you’re married and filed a joint return, you may be scheduled for a paper check if the IRS doesn’t have information for a joint bank account.

Is the Tool Working?

So far, the tool has had some problems. Many people (including me) can’t get a status report. I keep getting a message saying, “Payment Status Not Available: According to information that we have on file, we cannot determine your eligibility for a payment at this time.” Although I haven’t filed by 2019 return yet (shame on me), I did file a 2018 return.

After trying multiple times, I eventually received a message saying, the information I entered “does not match our records” and that I have “already accessed the system the maximum number of times today.” So now I have to wait 24 hours before I can try it again!

According to the IRS, you may receive the “Status Not Available” message for one of the following reasons (none of which apply to me):

  • You are not eligible for a payment;
  • You are required to file a tax return and have not filed a return for 2018 or 2019;
  • You recently filed your return or provided information through the “Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info Here” tool that has not been processed yet; or
  • You receive Social Security, Railroad Retirement Board, Supplemental Security Income, or Veterans Administration benefits (stimulus check information is not available for the tool yet).

There are also reports of delays due to heavy traffic and people not being able to enter bank account information for direct deposit payments.