As part of the CARES Act passed by Congress to help the US economy, Economic Impact Payments were getting sent to eligible individuals. If you received a refund from the IRS for the past two years, you were one of the lucky ones because your bank account information was already on file. That put you towards the front of the line because you didn’t have to wait for a paper check.
What about the millions of Americans who had to pay taxes by sending a check, or changed bank accounts or moved since filing their last tax return? They’d have to wait until their paper checks were sent and the payments were rejected or returned to get their money, and that could take months.
The IRS came up with a way to update your address for the stimulus payments online. As you can imagine, things didn’t go quite as planned.
Many Americans who are eligible for the payment went to the IRS’ website
You needed your personal information and the AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) from your last filed return (2019 or 2018 tax year). At first, I typed in the info and got a reply that’s familiar to many of you.
SMH. I pay money to the IRS all the time and they can’t find a record of my payment. Figures. I tried every time I heard the system updated and no luck.
You may also be getting this message for the following reasons, the IRS says:
Your adjusted gross income is too high to get a payment.
You haven’t filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019.
You recently filed your return and it has not been fully processed.
You receive Social Security, disability or Railroad Retirement benefits. In this case, the IRS will use your SSA or RRB Form 1099 and your payment will be sent automatically.
I was surprised this wasn’t also one of their suggestions:
Then someone on Twitter shared an article from the LA Times.
I wondered if the answer could really be that stupidly simple? It was, and it worked,
TYPE YOUR ADDRESS IN ALL CAPS
As the writer of the article says:
There is a technological reason for this involving knowledge of arcane programming and the federal government’s aversion to investing in resolving its tech debt. But the “why” doesn’t matter quite so much as the “whoa” here, which is: Whoa, this works?
Don’t think that the IRS computer programming was written when everything “IN COMPUTER” was written with capital letters. The reason solutions like this work are the same thing causing states to scramble and find COBOL programmers to update their unemployment systems.
So if you still haven’t been able to get the IRS Payment Status website to work, pretend you’re someone who doesn’t understand computer AND YELL YOUR ADDRESS IN ALL CAPS!
Which is the first time that’s worked for anything?
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary