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By Julia Glum
Updated: January 4, 2021 12:36 PM ET | Originally published: April 11, 2020
Money; Getty Images

UPDATE: Money first published this story in April. The federal government has since approved a second round of stimulus checks, formally called Economic Impact Payments, to be distributed in late December 2020 and early January 2021. For most Americans, the payments are $600 per person or $1,200 per married couple, plus $600 for each child.

The IRS and Treasury Department are using the data they already have on file to deliver the second stimulus check. They began sending out these payments via direct deposit on Dec. 29 and by mail Dec. 30.

The IRS briefly took the Get My Payment tool offline, but it’s up and running again as of Jan. 4. Enter your personal information, and the tool will show your Payment #1 Status and Payment #2 Status. If you received your payment via direct deposit, it should display the date and the last four digits of the bank account used.

Get My Payment data refreshes every night, so check back often in order to track your stimulus check. Read more about the second stimulus checks here.

It sounds like a question on a high school physics quiz: The government is giving you $1,200. You’re not sure when it’s being sent or when you’ll receive it. How can you determine where the money is?

This is what millions of Americans are asking about their coronavirus stimulus payments, which started going out last week. The IRS is in charge, but it’s still scary to think about an important $1,200 check getting lost in the mail (or on the internet).

Here’s what we know about how to find out where your relief money is.

Can I track my stimulus check?

Yes. Just like the IRS typically allows you to track your tax refund, you can now know where your stimulus payment is.

On April 15, the IRS launched the Get My Payment application. With Get My Payment, people are able to check their payment status, confirm whether they’re getting it via direct deposit or check, and enter their bank account information. In order to track the payment, you’ll need to input your Social Security number, date of birth, street address and zip code.

If the Get May Payment app returns a message about how your payment status is not available, it may not have your information uploaded, the IRS may not have processed your 2019 tax return, or you may not be eligible for a stimulus check.

Get My Payment is updated once a day with fresh data.

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If you haven't filed taxes yet for 2020, you should file a tax return as soon as possible to get your stimulus check
Tax preparation service TurboTax recommends that you file your tax returns immediately to receive your refund through direct deposit.
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When are stimulus checks being sent out?

Here’s the rough schedule so far, courtesy of a House Committee on Ways and Means memo:

  • week of April 13: the IRS will send out 60 million payments to taxpayers for whom it has direct deposit information from their 2018 or 2019 tax returns
  • late April: the IRS will do a “second run of payments” to Social Security beneficiaries who didn’t file tax returns in 2018 or 2019 but do have direct deposit on file
  • week of May 4: the IRS will start mailing paper checks at a rate of 5 million per week — a process that could last up to 20 weeks

How do I know if I missed — or someone stole — my stimulus check?

Watch your mailbox. The IRS says it’s going to mail out letters within 15 days of making people’s payments, complete with “information on how the payment was made and how to report any failure to receive the payment.” The note will go to taxpayers’ last known address.

So, if you get a letter but didn’t receive a direct deposit or paper check, you may want to contact the IRS. And remember: The IRS will not call, text or email you “asking to verify or provide your financial information so you can get an economic impact payment or your refund faster,” according to a news release. That’s a scam.

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More from Money:

Here’s How to Get Your Stimulus Check as Fast as Possible

True or False? Your Stimulus Check Is Just an Advance on Next Year’s Tax Refund

How to Spot a Stimulus Check Scam