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US Expats - COVID-19 Relief Check Issues - IRS etc

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2020
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    6

    US Expats - COVID-19 Relief Check Issues - IRS etc

    Hello all, apologies if I am posting this thread in the wrong forum. I am an American expat in HK and I wonder if anyone else is having difficulty accessing the IRS "Get My Payment" portal to check the status of their stimulus payment/check?

    For the last several days I have been trying to give them my direct deposit information instead of waiting for a paper check to be mailed to HK, but I cannot even get past the identity questions. Obviously my SSN and birthdate are correct…I am looking at our 2018 and 2019 tax returns and I have tried every variation of our address I can think of but it always gives an error that the information doesn't match their records. I have tried leaving the postal code section blank as well as entering 00000, using all caps for the address, "street" vs "st", formatting the apartment number differently, etc.

    Anyway, I will keep trying but they only give you 3 attempts before locking you out for 24 hours. If anyone has gotten around this issue or knows some other postal code or something I should be using for HK (even though it is not on my tax return as filed) please share.


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Park Island, Hong Kong
    Posts
    231

    I can only get “Status Not Available”. I haven't e-filed my 2019 US taxes yet, and I moved, so if they did mail me a check it would be to my previous address. I couldn't find clear information on how long the IRS will wait before mailing a check to a filer's 2018 address if they haven't e-filed their 2019 taxes yet. It only said they'll make payments until at least the end of the year, but I can't figure out when they'll start sending out checks to people like us that can't seem to find a way to give them our direct deposit information.

    Additionally, I've tried in vain to add my direct deposit information within TurboTax to my 2019 taxes. I even used their forms view and I put in my information, but it doesn't actually show up on my 1040. The reason this matters, is that the IRS has said they have already directly deposited the relief money into relevant accounts (not mine as I haven't had my bank information on my taxes for many years as I haven't owed them any tax or been owed a refund). TurboTax just puts Xs in the direct deposit information section.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    232

    I am a US citizen who married an HKSAR permanent resident, non-US citizen, and file my US taxes as married filing jointly.

    That means I do not qualify for the money at all.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Park Island, Hong Kong
    Posts
    231
    Quote Originally Posted by spode:
    I am a US citizen who married an HKSAR permanent resident, non-US citizen, and file my US taxes as married filing jointly.

    That means I do not qualify for the money at all.
    Says who? Your wife doesn't qualify, but that doesn't mean you wouldn't qualify for 1,200USD unless your adjusted gross income (after the foreign earned income exclusion) is over the limit. Check the IRS' get my payment and/or coronavirus website (search for it).

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    12

    This has been making me crazy. I also can't login "Information does not match". They use this same tool on fedloan and it hasn't worked in any of my hk addresses. I even read somewhere that it's incompatible with most foreign addresses.

    I guess we just hope one day we see the money?


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Park Island, Hong Kong
    Posts
    231

    After further searching, it seems like it's impossible to input direct deposit information into TurboTax and get it to show up on your 1040 if you don't owe anything and the IRS doesn't owe you anything (the case for most people (I think) that use Form 2555). It also seemed that the direct deposit information would only be used if the IRS owed you a refund in 2018 and/or in 2019.

    I can't fix this by mailing the IRS my return and manually writing my direct deposit information as the IRS isn't dealing with paper returns at the moment, and additionally I don't even know how well mail is working from HK to the US these days anyways.

    In the past, when the IRS mailed me letters I would receive them about one month from the date printed on their letters versus about 10 days when someone I knew from the U.S. mailed me something via regular USPS mail (or whatever the cheapest non-container ship mailing option).

    I'm also still waiting on one tax form, so I don't want to e-file my 2019 taxes yet, but my address on my 2018 return was of my property that I've now sold. I guess I'll pray that the new owner nicely continues to give my mail to the property agent we both used until my check maybe gets to HK. My AGI last year was negative due to using Form 2555 plus other stuff, so if the IRS is mailing out checks to those with an AGI of 10,000USD or less (I'm hoping negative still counts) first, then I could pray to get my check by the end of May.


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    232
    Quote Originally Posted by loganhair:
    Says who? Your wife doesn't qualify, but that doesn't mean you wouldn't qualify for 1,200USD unless your adjusted gross income (after the foreign earned income exclusion) is over the limit. Check the IRS' get my payment and/or coronavirus website (search for it).
    Says the Miami Herald. https://www.miamiherald.com/news/cor...242170256.html

    I could not find definitive information on the IRS website, and their online tool kept saying it could not process my request. If it comes, fine, but that article's information seems pretty clear if correct.

    Here is a link to a youtube video from a tax firm making this clear as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0l4GwRQ1J1k. To get the check you would have to file as married filing separately, which for me would cost me more than the amount of the stimulus check itself.
    Last edited by spode; 24-04-2020 at 10:17 AM. Reason: added additional sourcing.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    1,499

    Most likely you are above the income levels required for eligibility.


  9. #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    6

    Thanks all for the replies, I'm still wondering if anyone who files with a Hong Kong (or other foreign) address was able to get into the Get My Payment portal. Sounds like it's a problem with foreign addresses?

    Regarding being married to a non-citizen spouse, my spouse does have an SSN and as a green card holder is eligible for the stimulus payment as well. It's too bad citizens married to spouses without SSNs are being left out, that seems like a bug and I hope you are able to claim your payment eventually.

    In our case due to Foreign Earned Income Exclusion we neither owed tax nor received refund, that's why the IRS doesn't have our direct deposit info, but even without excluding foreign income we are still way under the cut-off limit for eligibility.

    I guess I will assume it's a problem on the IRS's side with foreign addresses, and just hope it comes in the mail eventually.


  10. #10

    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by spode:
    I am a US citizen who married an HKSAR permanent resident, non-US citizen, and file my US taxes as married filing jointly.

    That means I do not qualify for the money at all.
    You are not qualified, spouse must have valid ssn. (US permanent resident / citizen)

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