If you received Notice 1444,1444-B or 1444-C in the mail and have not received your payment as mentioned in the notice, you will need to request a payment trace to track the first or second stimulus payment.
How do I request a trace?
Do not request a payment trace to determine if you were eligible for a payment or to confirm the amount of payment you should have received.
If you receive a notice that shows your payment was issued as a direct deposit, your need to check with your bank and make sure they didn’t receive a deposit. Do not check with your bank prior to 5 days after the payment date or your online account shows your payment amounts because the bank may not have any information. Only request a payment trace to track your payment if you received Notice 1444, 1444-B or Notice 1444-C.
IRS assistors cannot initiate a payment trace unless it has been:
- 5 days since the deposit date and the bank says it hasn’t received the payment
- 4 weeks since the payment was mailed by check to a standard address for the first EIP
- 6 weeks since the payment was mailed, and you have a forwarding address on file with the local post office
- 9 weeks since the payment was mailed, and you have a foreign address for the first EIP; March 31, 2021 for the second EIP; or May 14, 2021 for the third EIP
Foreign addresses: Due to the pandemic, there may be international service disruptions at the United States Postal Service (USPS) or the foreign country you are in.
To start a payment trace:
To complete the Form 3911:
- Write “EIP1”, “EIP2” or "EIP3" on the top of the form to identify which payment you want to trace.
- Complete the form answering all refund questions as they relate to your EIP
- When completing item 7 under Section 1:
- Check the box for “Individual” as the Type of return
- Enter “2020” (if this is for the first or second stimulus payment, or enter "2021" if this is for the third stimulus payment as the Tax Period
- Do not write anything for the Date Filed
- Sign the form. If you file married filing joint, both spouses must sign the form.
When will the IRS contact me?
You will generally receive a response 6 weeks after the IRS has received your request for a payment trace, but there may be delays due to limited staffing.
What information will the trace provide me?
The IRS will process your claim for a missing payment in one of two ways:
- If the check was not cashed, they will reverse your payment and notify you. If you find the original check, you must return it as soon as possible. You will need to claim the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 tax return to receive credit for EIP 1 and EIP 2, and then claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2021 tax return for EIP 3, if eligible.
- If the check was cashed, the Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service will send you a claim package that includes a copy of the cashed check. Follow the instructions. The Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service will review your claim and the signature on the canceled check before determining whether the payment can be reversed. If reversed, you will need to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020, or 2021 return depending on what EIP payment in reference, if eligible.
What if I already filed my return and my refund was adjusted?
If you are filed your 2020 or 2021 tax return before starting a trace and did not include the payment amount on line 16 or 19 of the Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet, you may receive a notice saying your Recovery Rebate Credit was adjusted.
After the trace has been completed and it is determined your payment has not been cashed, an adjustment will be made and a check sent to the taxpayer. You will not need to take any additional action to receive the credit.