About 10 million people are still wondering when their stimulus check will hit their bank account, according to American technology and consumer media site, CNET, but relief might soon be possible.
Tuesday, the IRS added a hotline for callers. This is the first time the IRS has made itself directly available to stimulus recipients since the historic stimulus package passed in March.
Up until now, people were relying on news organizations for updates and the IRS website. The website was the only means of communication from the IRS, with a line on the page that instructed people not to call them.
The website was available for its payment status portal, non-filers tool, and its frequently asked questions page. It’s worth noting the deadline to set up direct deposit information with the IRS has already passed.
To reach the new hotline, call 800-919-9835.
After prompting for English or Spanish, an automated message lists the circumstances for people who do not need to take any action to receive a payment.
The message continues to list more requirements and scenarios until finally, it says, “Please stay on the line for more information." Following this, the prompts get more specific.
News4Jax never reached an IRS representative through the hotline prompts, but two readers emailed us and said they were able to get through. One reader writes,
“I was able to speak to someone on the hotline this morning. I was on hold for 50 minutes before a representative was able to give me info. Since I hadn’t received my payment, and the IRS website said it was mailed, they forwarded my call to an actual IRS representative. I was informed by the IRS that until it has been 4 weeks from the date it was sent, they were unable to help me at this time. Friday will be 4 weeks since it was mailed according to the date provided on the website. So if I haven’t received it by then, I can call back next week for more info.”
Several more readers reported they were not able to ever reach anyone. However, a reader who initially informed us she was unable to get through, contacted News4Jax again. Her first email reads,
“When you call the line it just keeps repeating scenarios. It never prompts you to speak with someone. It disconnects you after you make your way through all of the prompts. It asks you to please choose one of the following options. If you stop choosing options it says 'We are unable to complete your response’ and disconnects you from the system. I tried calling 10 times and picked different options each time getting the same result".
An hour and 15 minutes later, she’s able to give us an update. She writes,
“I just finished talking to someone. What I found out is that there are just so many representatives to address citizen concerns. Therefore when the lines are overloaded with callers the prompts on the line will disconnect you after providing all the information available. I believe if the system does not see an open line of a representative to connect you to; you have to just keep calling and going through the prompts and eventually if there is a representative available you will be connected to him or her to get assistance. It took me 15 calls to get through."
The IRS announced Monday at least 3,500 phone representatives are specifically tasked with answering taxpayers’ questions about stimulus payments.