(NEXSTAR) – If you’ve been checking the mail each day waiting for that $600 stimulus check approved by Congress late last year, you can probably stop stalking the mailman. The Internal Revenue Service confirmed this week that all currently approved stimulus payments have already been sent out.
“Legislation required that the second round of payments be issued by January 15, 2021. While some second round Economic Impact Payments may still be in the mail, the IRS has issued all first and second Economic Impact Payments it is legally permitted to issue,” the agency said in a stimulus fund update earlier this week.
That means any approved check headed your way has likely already arrived.
The agency said the popular “Get My Payment” stimulus tracking tool was last updated on January 29th and would not be updated again with details on the first or second stimulus disbursments, which the IRS calls Economic Impact Payments.
If you are still missing the first or second stimulus payment and see a “payment status unavailable,” notification on the Get My Payment tool, it likely means one of two things.
“Two common reasons are that you didn’t file either a 2018 or 2019 tax return or your recently filed return has not been fully processed,” the IRS has previously said.
If you haven’t received a payment or the amount is less than it should be by the time you file your 2020 tax return, you can claim the amount due as a Recovery Rebate Credit.
“The credit is figured like the Economic Impact Payment, except that the credit eligibility and the credit amount are based on the 2020 tax year information, including income,” according to the IRS.
Since the IRS used 2019 returns to determine eligibility and stimulus check amount, someone whose salary exceeded the maximum threshold in 2019, but lost a job during the pandemic, might not be eligible for one of the proposed stimulus checks this year unless he or she submits a 2020 tax return claiming the credit.
Negotiations on a possible third stimulus check are ongoing, and the amount received on that check could be based on your 2020 filing, depending on how and when negotiations are finalized. That means it could make sense to file before the next deal is reached in order to make sure your future check accounts for diminished income in 2020.
Whether you get a third check depends on which direction Biden and Democratic leaders decide to go as the proposal makes its way through committees over the next few weeks, with the goal of additional relief being finalized by mid-March. As of now, lawmakers are on break until next week.
The latest plan shows people earning $75,000 or less would receive the full $1,400 payment. That means a couple with an income below $150,000 would receive $2,800.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.