Top 3 Reasons You Havenā€™t Received Your Government Stimulus Check

Even if you received a stimulus check the first time, you might not receive a second one. The government updated the requirements for the stimulus check, and now fewer high earners are eligible for reduced payments. Likewise, the new regulations may require taxpayers to claim their payment.

There are also a few reasons why you have not received a stimulus payment even if you are eligible. Delays with the stimulus payments can also occur. Read on to find out why you may not have yet received your stimulus payment.

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You May Not Meet the Requirements for the Stimulus Check
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Fortunately, you can still claim your stimulus payments. The first two rounds ā€“ the CARES Act and the COVID-related Tax Relief Act ā€“ are part of the 2020 tax year, so you can file for missed checks on your 2020 tax return. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 authorized the third payment, so you can claim it on your 2021 taxes. 

However, you can also use the Non-filer Sign-up Tool if you do not file tax returns usually. This tool is available on the Internal Revenue Service website, and you can also create an account to check its amount and status.

Your eligibility for the stimulus check may have changed with the modified terms of the second stimulus bill. For one, the government reduced the income limits across the board for single tax filers, heads of household, and married couples filing jointly. 

For the first stimulus check, single tax filers had to earn less than $99,000 to qualify. The new rules reduce this threshold to $87,000. However, to receive the maximum stimulus amount, individuals cannot earn more than $75,000.

The income limit for heads of household lowered from $146,000 to $124,500. Individuals filing as heads of households who earn less than $112,500 are eligible for the full stimulus amount.

Married couples who file taxes jointly cannot earn more than $174,000, which is down from the original $198,000 threshold. For the maximum stimulus payment, they cannot earn more than $150,000.

The government made a change for mix-status households. Mix-status households are married couples where only one spouse has a Social Security number. The old rules prevented either spouse from eligibility for the stimulus check, including claims for eligible dependents.

The new regulations allow the spouse with a Social Security number to collect stimulus payments for themselves and any eligible dependent. The spouse without a Social Security number is still not qualified for the stimulus.  

Since the IRS looked at passed taxes to determine eligibility for the stimulus check, the government may not know that you qualify. If your income changed in 2020, you may have to inform the IRS of your stimulus eligibility.

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By Melanie Henson