Questions and Answers about the Third-round Economic Impact Payment — Topic J: Payment Issued but Lost, Stolen, Destroyed or Not Received

These updated FAQs were released to the public in Fact Sheet 2022-22PDF, March 25, 2022.

If you didn't receive, or get the full amount of, the third-round Economic Impact Payment, you may be eligible to claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit and must file a 2021 tax return – even if you don't usually file taxes – to claim it. Your 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit will reduce any tax you owe for 2021 or be included in your tax refund.

If your income is $73,000 or less, you can file your federal tax return electronically for free through the IRS Free File Program. The fastest and most secure way to get your tax refund is to file electronically and have it direct deposited, contactless and free, into your financial account. You can have your refund direct deposited into your bank account, prepaid debit card, or mobile app, and will need to provide routing and account numbers.

If you didn't get the full amounts of the first and second Economic Impact Payments, you may be eligible to claim the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit and must file a 2020 tax return – even if you don't usually file taxes – to claim it. DO NOT include any information regarding the first and second Economic Impact Payments or the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2021 return.

If you received your payment by check and it was lost, stolen or destroyed, you should request a payment trace so the IRS can determine if your payment was cashed. See How do I request a payment trace to track my third Economic Impact Payment?

If you were issued a payment and have not received it at all, see How do I request a payment trace to track my third Economic Impact Payments?

If a trace is initiated and the IRS determines that the check wasn't cashed, the IRS will credit your account for that payment, but the IRS cannot reissue your payment. Instead, you will need to claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2021 tax return if eligible.

Note: If you are filing your 2021 tax return before your trace is complete, do not include the payment amount on the Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet. If you do, you may receive a notice saying your 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit was changed, but an adjustment will be made after the trace is complete and it is determined your payment has not been cashed. You will not need to take any additional action to receive the credit.

If you do not request a trace on your payment, you may receive an error when claiming the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2021 tax return. Since the payment was issued to you, you may not be eligible for any credit.

If your payment was issued as a direct deposit, your first step is to check with your bank and make sure they didn't receive a deposit. 

You should only request a payment trace to track your payment if a payment was issued to you and you have not received it within the timeframes below. 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
  • 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

Note: If you have a foreign address, there may be international service disruptions at the United States Postal Service (USPS) or the foreign country you are in due to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the USPS Service Alerts page and check with your local consulate for more information.

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.

How we process your claim

We'll process your claim for a missing payment in one of two ways:

  • If a trace is initiated and the IRS determines that the check wasn't cashed, the IRS will credit your account for that payment but the IRS cannot reissue your payment. Instead, you will need to claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2021 tax return if eligible.

    Note: If you are filing your 2021 tax return before your trace is complete, do not include the payment amount on the Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet. If you do, you may receive a notice saying your 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit was changed, but an adjustment will be made after the trace is complete and it is determined your payment has not been cashed. You will not need to take any additional action to receive the credit.

    If you do not request a trace on your payment, you may receive an error when claiming the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2021 tax return. Since the payment was issued to you, you may not be eligible for any credit.
     
  • 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 so, the IRS cannot reissue your payment. Instead, you will need to claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2021 tax return if eligible.

To start a payment trace:

Reminder: DO NOT request a trace prior to the timeframes above. IRS assistors cannot start a trace prior to those timeframes.

To complete the Form 3911:

  • Write "EIP3" on the top of the form to identify the payment you want to trace.
  • Complete the form answering all refund questions as they relate to your Economic Impact Payment.
  • When completing item 7 under Section 1:
    • Check the box for "Individual" as the Type of return
    • Enter "2021" as the Tax Period
    • Do not write anything for the Date Filed
  • Sign the form. If you file married filing jointly, both spouses must sign the form.

You will generally receive a response 6 weeks after we receive your request for a payment trace, but there may be delays due to limited staffing. Get up-to-date status on affected IRS operations and services. Do not mail or fax Form 3911 if you have already requested a trace by phone.

  • If you mail or fax the form prior to the timeframes above, your request will not be processed until those timeframes are met.

Mail or fax the form to:

Note: Do not send anything other than a Form 3911 to the fax numbers below.

If you live in… then mail to this address… or fax to...
Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont Andover Internal Revenue Service
310 Lowell St.
Andover, MA 01810

 

855-253-3175
Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Virginia Atlanta Internal Revenue Service
4800 Buford Hwy
Chamblee, GA 30341

 

855-275-8620
Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas Austin Internal Revenue Service
3651 S Interregional Hwy 35
Austin, TX 78741

 

855-203-7538
New York Brookhaven Internal Revenue Service
1040 Waverly Ave.
Holtsville, NY 11742

 

855-297-7736
Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming Fresno Internal Revenue Service
3211 S Northpointe Dr
Fresno, CA 93725

 

855-332-3068
Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, West Virginia Kansas City Internal Revenue Service
333 W Pershing Rd.
Kansas City, MO 64108

 

855-344-9993
Alabama, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee Memphis Internal Revenue Service
5333 Getwell Rd.
Memphis, TN 38118

 

855-580-4749
District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island Philadelphia Internal Revenue Service
2970 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104

 

855-404-9091
A foreign country, U.S. possession or territory, or use an APO or FPO address, or file Form 2555 or 4563, or are a dual-status alien. Austin Internal Revenue Service
3651 S Interregional Hwy 35
Austin, TX 78741

 

855-203-7538