Questions and Answers about the First Economic Impact Payment — Topic F: Payment Issued but Lost, Stolen, Destroyed or Not Received

A1. If you received your payment by check and it was lost, stolen or destroyed, you may need to 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 first or second 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 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 tax return if eligible.

Note: If you are filing your 2020 tax return before your trace is complete, do not include the payment amount on line 16 or 19 of the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet. If you do, you may receive a notice saying your 2020 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 Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 tax return. Since the payment was issued to you, you may not be eligible for any credit.

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

A2. If you received Notice 1444 or Notice 1444-B in the mail and have not received your payments as mentioned in the notice, see How do I request a payment trace to track my first or second Economic Impact Payments?

Note: Do not request a payment trace if you are trying to determine eligibility for the payments or the amount of payments you should have received.  You must have been issued Notice 1444 or 1444-B showing your payments were issued or your online account must show your payment amounts (dates are not provided) to perform a trace.

A3. If your Notice 1444 or 1444-B shows your payment was issued as a direct deposit more than 5 days after the payment date or your online account shows your payment amounts (dates are not provided), your first step is to check with your bank and make sure they didn’t receive a deposit. Do not check with your bank prior to 5 days because they may not have any information. 

You should only request a payment trace to track your payment if you received Notice 1444 or Notice 1444-B showing your payment was issued or if your online account shows your payment amounts (dates are not provided) and you have not received the payment 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 for the first EIP; March 31, 2021 for the second EIP

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 the check was not cashed, we 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, 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 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 return, if eligible.

Note: If you are filing your 2020 tax return before your trace is complete, do not include the payment amount on line 16 or 19 of the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet. You may receive a notice saying your 2020 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.  

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 “EIP1” or “EIP2” 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” 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.

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 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 93779
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