Stimulus Check Tracker: What's With the "Payment Status Not Available" Message on the IRS's "Get My Payment" Tool?

A lot of people are frustrated because they can't get any information from the IRS's stimulus payment tracking tool. Here's why.

With a fair amount of fanfare, the IRS recently released its "Get My Payment" tool. This online app—located on the IRS website at irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment (opens in new tab)—is supposed to 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.

Unfortunately, however, many people (millions?) can't get any information out of this tool. They 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." It can be very frustrating if you're one of the people getting this message every day—believe me, I know, because I'm one of them.

According to the IRS, there are several reasons why the "Get My Payment" tool will give you the "Payment Status Not Available" messages, including:

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For many of us, it looks like we'll just need to wait a little longer. The IRS updates the tool once per day (overnight), and they're working on adding more data to allow more people to use the tool. So, I guess working a little harder on being patient will do me some good.

(To find out how much money you'll get, use our Stimulus Check Calculator.)

Rocky Mengle
Senior Tax Editor, Kiplinger.com

Rocky is a Senior Tax Editor for Kiplinger with more than 20 years of experience covering federal and state tax developments. Before coming to Kiplinger, he worked for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting and Kleinrock Publishing, where he provided breaking news and guidance for CPAs, tax attorneys, and other tax professionals. He has also been quoted as an expert by USA Today, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Reuters, Accounting Today, and other media outlets. Rocky has a law degree from the University of Connecticut and a B.A. in History from Salisbury University.