What ‘Payment Status Not Available’ on the IRS website means?
The Internal Revenue Service says its website is “is operating smoothly and effectively,” but some users are confused by an error message regarding their stimulus money.
Some users get a “Payment Status Not Available” error with the vague explanation that “according to information that we have on file, we cannot determine your eligibility for a payment at this time.”
The message pops up when people enter their information using the IRS’ “Get My Payment” tool that’s supposed to tell them the status of their stimulus payment.
Enough people received the message that it was the subject of several Reddit posts and trended on Twitter.
‘Payment Status Not Available’: IRS explains error message on ‘Get My Payment’ tool
The United States Internal Revenue Service launched a website for tracking coronavirus stimulus checks today, but some users are getting told their payment status is “not available,” and even after an official explanation was posted online, they have basically no way of knowing what’s wrong.
The new IRS “Get My Payment” portal is supposed to help people find out if they’re eligible for one of the $1,200 relief checks that are being sent to many Americans, and then let them enter bank account information for a direct deposit or tell them that the payment has been processed. The idea is to speed the release of money that many citizens desperately need. But the system has shown many people the confounding error message of “Payment Status Not Available,” since it launched, leading the phrase to trend on Twitter and show up in a slew of messages on Reddit.
The only explanation for the error on the page says “according to information that we have on file, we cannot determine your eligibility for a payment at this time,” with a link to a long FAQ that has the relevant information about midway down the page.
According to that IRS FAQ, here’s when you might see the “payment status unavailable” message:
- If you are not eligible for a payment
- If you are required to file a tax return and have not filed in tax year 2018 or 2019
- If you recently filed your return or provided information through Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info on IRS.gov
- If you are a SSA or RRB Form 1099 recipient, SSI or VA benefit recipient
That.. is a lot of different reasons. Making it worse, “payment status unavailable” also appears if you simply enter a fake or made-up social security number, birth date, and address combination, so it appears to be generic catch-all error for the system, instead of a useful or actionable error message.
There is a limit on the number of times you can check the app per day; if you exceed your limit, the system will lock you out for 24 hours.
“The IRS reminds taxpayers that Get My Payment data is updated once per day, so there’s no need to check back more frequently,” the IRS explained in its FAQ.
The agency said it is constantly monitoring the website as it continues to see a high volume. Users are sometimes sent to an online waiting room when the volume hits certain levels.
By midday Wednesday, the IRS said 6.2 million taxpayers had received their payment status and almost 1.1 million had added direct deposit information.