Will USPS Forward My Stimulus Check?

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March 17, 2024

During economic distress, the U.S. government takes proactive measures to provide financial relief. One of the most widely recognized forms of such assistance comes from stimulus or Economic Impact payments.

As their name implies, these payments stimulate the economy by injecting much-needed funds into households across the nation and encouraging consumer spending.

A recent example of this government policy unfolded during the economic turmoil caused by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. The federal government implemented several relief measures in response to the growing crisis, with stimulus payments at the forefront.

The U.S. government distributes these payments via direct deposits to eligible taxpayer bank accounts or as paper checks or debit cards mailed through the United States Postal Service (USPS).

But what happens if you’re in the middle of a relocation or you’ve recently changed your mailing address? When you submit a change of address (COA) request to USPS, it will forward your mailpieces to a new address. However, the question becomes, “Does mail forwarding include government checks?”

This article aims to unravel the intricate web of USPS mail forwarding, specifically involving government-issued checks such as stimulus payments, from the processes and considerations to the potential limitations.

Are you looking for additional information on the U.S. Postal Service and how it handles Economic Impact payments? Visit your local post office, which you can find using FindPostOffice.org’s USPS locator tool.

Does USPS Forward IRS and Other Government Mail?

Unless you inform the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) regarding your relocation, it will continue to deliver your mail items to the current address in its system— your old address.

Fortunately, you can rectify this issue and reroute your parcels to a new location by submitting a change of address (COA) form. Doing so qualifies you for USPS’ mail forwarding service, redirecting mailpieces from one address to another.

The Postal Service’s mail forwarding solution can route various mail classes, including First-Class Mail and periodicals. However, it doesn’t forward government checks and mail, such as those from the IRS (Internal Revenue System) and the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles).

Now, you may be thinking, “How do I get my payment checks?” While USPS, as an agency, doesn’t, some post offices do. In other words, USPS may forward IRS and other government mail, depending on the facility.

Fortunately, you can quickly determine if your area’s post office locations can and will assist in routing your stimulus checks by visiting FindPostOffice.org, searching for USPS facilities near you, and talking to a retail associate at your local post office.

Why Doesn’t USPS Forward IRS and Other Government Mail?

Due to security concerns, the U.S. Postal Service doesn’t reroute mail from government agencies like the IRS, DMV, and the SSA (Social Security Administration).

The primary reason is that these mailpieces are considered “sensitive mail,” and they will generally contain information, such as your contact information or Social Security number, that USPS doesn’t want to fall into the wrong hands.

What Mail Doesn’t USPS Forward?

As mentioned, USPS won’t redirect mailpieces from government agencies, such as stimulus checks, income tax refunds, and Social Security communications.

Apart from these mail items, the Postal Service’s standard mail-forwarding feature excludes specific mail classes, such as Marketing Mail, from its routing list. 

However, if you apply for USPS’ Premium Forwarding Service, you can expect almost all mail classes to be forwarded, including Bound Printed Matter, Media Mail, Library Mail, and Parcel Select.

Does USPS Forward Government Refund Checks?

Government-issued refund checks, such as tax returns and stimulus payments, can contain significant money. If a porch pirate were to get to your mailpiece before you do, you could lose a potential financial windfall.

Considering this scenario, the U.S. Postal Service generally doesn’t redirect refund checks. Although, as cited, some post office locations may. Visit FindPostOffice.org to find your area’s nearest USPS facilities and inquire about their policies regarding refund check forwarding.

Where Is My Stimulus Check? Check Your Address Ahead of More Stimulus Checks

Receiving an Economic Impact payment is a welcome source of money. Therefore, it makes sense that many tax filers eagerly await their stimulus check’s arrival.

If you filed and submitted your tax return by mail, you can expect your paper check or debit card to arrive similarly— through the mail. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait at your mailbox or doorstep for your payment’s arrival.

Enter Informed Delivery. This U.S. Postal Service feature gives you a sneak peek of what’s heading to your mailing address via digital snapshots. The most noteworthy advantage of Informed Delivery is that it’s free.

It also lets you monitor a specific parcel’s progress throughout USPS’ mailing network, giving you essential information on its status and whereabouts.

First, Change Your Address

Unfortunately, tracking your stimulus check may not mean much if it doesn’t arrive at your current address. So, if you’ve recently moved or won’t be at the mailing address to receive your government-issued payment, you must inform USPS.

As mentioned, you can accomplish this task by filing a change of address form, which you can conveniently do online or in person at your local post office.

Here’s How to File a USPS Change of Address Request Online:

You can submit a COA request online to eliminate the hassle of visiting a post office and waiting in line for your turn. Here’s a step-by-step guide on filing a COA form online and benefitting from USPS’ mail-forwarding solution:

  1. Head to the USPS change of address page.
  2. Choose the option that best matches the circumstances of your move. These options include whether you’re moving as an individual, family, or business.
  3. Fill out the COA form.
  4. Complete the mobile identity verification process, which requires entering a one-time passcode (OTP) or clicking a link.
  5. Pay the $1.10 identity verification surcharge.
  6. Wait for a USPS email containing a confirmation code. This code allows you to monitor, modify, or cancel your COA request.
  7. Receive the welcome kit, which includes USPS partner coupons, at your new address.

If you can’t validate your identity online, you can do so at a post office offering in-person identity proofing services. Fortunately, there are over 18,000 locations nationwide that do. Visit FindPostOffice.org to find your area’s nearest one.

Reasons to Update the IRS and USPS When You Move

Although some Postal Service facilities may redirect government refund checks from your old address to a new one, many don’t. Therefore, it’s best to inform the IRS and provide it with your current mailing address.

So Your Final Child Tax Credit Payment Isn’t Delayed

Child Tax Credit payments are financial reliefs for working families. You get $2,000 to $3,600 for every child under six years old and around $2,000 to $3,000 for each child over six.

If you don’t have direct deposit set up with the IRS, you’ll receive these relief payments in your mail. However, if the IRS doesn’t have your current address in its system, it will send your check to your old address.

If you want to utilize this cash influx to cover bills or fund your day-to-day living expenses, you want it to arrive promptly. Informing the IRS and USPS ensures your Child Tax Credit payments arrive without hitches.

So You Can Finally Get Your Missing Stimulus Check

As of October 2023, some Americans have received three stimulus checks from the U.S. government. That said, many states are providing a fourth check to combat inflation.

If you’re fortunate to live in one of these states, you’ll want to update the IRS and USPS regarding your current address to receive your Economic Impact payment on time.

So You Can Receive Your Yearly Tax Return and Refund

The speed at which the IRS sends tax refunds to filers can vary depending on various factors, including the filing method, the accuracy of the return, and the presence of handling errors.

If you want to receive your tax refund and prevent cases of stolen checks from the mail, you must update your address in IRS and USPS records. Doing so ensures that any government-issued payment will arrive at your correct mailing address.

IRS Update Address: How to Tell the IRS That You Moved

If you hope to receive communications and refund checks on time, you must update the Internal Revenue Service for updates regarding your personal information, such as your full name and address.

Fortunately, updating your address with the IRS is straightforward, and several methods are available for your convenience. Let’s break down everything you need to know.

How Do I Change an Address With the IRS?

The IRS provides several ways to update your address within its records. The options available at your disposal include the following:

  • At your local post office: You can visit a local post office to notify USPS of your address change. However, if your area’s USPS facility doesn’t forward government checks, you must inform the IRS directly.
  • By phone: You can call 800-829-1040, available from 7 AM to 7 PM local time. Doing so lets you speak directly with an IRS representative and provide updated address information.
  • Using Form 8822: Alternatively, you can file Form 8822 or the IRS change of address form. This written form lets you specify your old and new addresses.
  • Through your tax return: If you prefer a seamless approach, you can use your new address when filing your next tax return. This method ensures the IRS receives your updated information when you submit your taxes.
  • Mailing a written statement: You can also send a statement to the location in your tax return form. That said, you must include your full name, old and new addresses, Social Security number, and your signature in the letter.

Can You Change Your Address With the IRS Online?

Like the U.S. Postal Service, the IRS offers an online option for updating your address. However, the IRS only allows you to do so if you meet specific criteria that warrant this digital method, including:

  • Registering for Economic Impact payments: If you don’t usually file a tax return but want to be eligible for a stimulus payment, you can update your address online during the period shortly before the government issues stimulus payments.
  • Address correction for returned stimulus checks: You can also change your address online if your stimulus check was returned due to non-delivery.

How to Change My Address With the IRS Online:

The steps to change your address online will differ depending on which criteria you fall under. If you qualify for online address change for the first reason, visit the IRS website at IRS.gov and access its Economic Impact payments registration web tool.

On the other hand, if you’re eligible for the second reason, you must head to the IRS website and visit the “Where’s My Refund?” page. In either scenario, the IRS will require you to provide a mailing address. Giving your current address ensures the IRS has your updated information.

 Monitor Your Stimulus Check Through the Post Office

As cited, one of the ways you can track your government-issued mail, including stimulus checks or debit cards, is via the Postal Service’s Informed Delivery feature. Fortunately, signing up for this free monitoring method is straightforward.

Signing Up for Informed Delivery to Track Your Stimulus Check

Here’s a step-by-step guide to apply for the USPS Informed Delivery service and begin receiving tracking information on your Economic Impact payment:

  • Visit InformedDelivery.USPS.com and click the “Sign up for Free” button.
  • Provide your address details.
  • Create an Informed Delivery or USPS.com account.
  • Complete the mobile identity verification process using the one-time numeric passcode that USPS will send to your provided contact number.
  • Wait around three to seven business days for your account’s activation.

Is This the Best Way to Track Your Stimulus Check?

While USPS’ Informed Delivery program is an excellent option to determine when and if your stimulus check will arrive, it has disadvantages. The most noteworthy downside to this UPS service is that it’s unavailable for some.

Informed Delivery is limited to P.O. boxes and residential and business addresses in eligible ZIP code locations. While most ZIP codes qualify for the service, your mailing address must have a uniquely coded mailbox.

These mailboxes are those with USPS-assigned codes, which help the Postal Service ensure that only the residents of a specific address can view incoming mail.

Fortunately, the IRS provides an alternative method to monitor your stimulus check’s progress throughout the USPS mail stream and its status- the Get My Payment tool.

For more information on ways to track your Economic Impact payments, visit the IRS website at IRS.gov. Conversely, you can talk to a Postal Service representative at your local post office, which you can find using FindPostOffice.org’s search tool.

What to Do if You Haven’t Received Your Stimulus Check:

If you’ve already taken the necessary steps to update your address and are still waiting for your stimulus check, whether it’s last year’s or otherwise, it may be because you don’t qualify for relief.

According to the IRS, you may receive only a partial payment or nothing if you exceed a gross income of $75,000. If you’re married and are filing joint returns with your spouse, the limit is $150,000.

To determine if you qualify for Economic Impact payments, visit the IRS website at IRS.gov and head to the “Where’s My Refund?” page or call the IRS’ customer service hotline at 800-829-1040 between 7 AM and 7 PM local time.

How to Make Sure You Get Your Next Stimulus Check

Getting a stimulus check can benefit your financial stability, especially during challenging times. Here’s what you can do to ensure you receive it without any hitches:

  • File your tax returns: Ensure you file your tax returns on time, as doing so will help the government determine your eligibility for future payments. If you don’t typically file taxes, you must register for Economic Impact payments when the registration window opens.
  • Track your stimulus payment: The “Where’s My Refund?” page provided by the IRS is a valuable tool to monitor your relief check’s status. Regularly checking this resource will inform you about any stimulus check updates.
  • Maintain updated mailing addresses: If you prefer to file paper tax returns, you must ensure your mailing address is accurate. File a COA form with USPS to receive mail forwarding privileges.

However, if your local post office doesn’t forward government mail, you must also update your address with the IRS. Visit your local post office to determine if they reroute stimulus checks or debit cards. Use FindPostOffice.org to locate your area’s closest post office.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Does the United States Post Office forward mail from a minor’s supervised account?

When you submit a COA request, the U.S. Postal Service will reroute mailpieces heading to your old address to your current one. Unfortunately, USPS cannot forward a check from a minor’s supervised account under federal law to a forwarding address left at the post office.

  1. How do you receive IRS and government mail from USPS after a move?at

To receive mail from government agencies, such as the IRS, DMV, and SSA, after a move, you must inform the Postal Service by submitting a change of address form.

If your area’s local post offices don’t redirect government mailpieces, you must update your address with the relevant entities. For instance, you can change your mailing address with the IRS by calling 800-829-1040 or mailing a written statement.

  1. Does USPS forward DMV mail?

As mentioned, the U.S. Postal Service generally avoids forwarding mail items from government agencies like the DMV for security reasons. However, while uncommon, some post offices do. Visit your local post offices to determine which can offer rerouting services for your government mail items. Use FindPostOffice.org to narrow the over 31,000 post office locations nationwide to ones in your area.

References

  1. Track Your Stimulus Check Through The Post Office – Here’s How
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/zackfriedman/2020/05/24/track
  2. What Is a Stimulus Check? Definition, How It Works, and Criticism
    https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/stimulus-check.asp
  3. Stimulus checks
    https://link.usps.com/2021/04/12/stimulus-checks/
  4. Standard Forward Mail & Change of Address
    https://www.usps.com/manage/forward.htm
  5. Mail Forwarding Options
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/Mail-Forwarding-Options
  6. Does USPS Forward IRS & Other Government Mail? (Government Checks, DMV + More)
    https://querysprout.com/does-usps-forward-irs-other-government-mail/
  7. Does USPS Forward IRS and Other Government Mail?
    https://www.ncesc.com/does-usps-forward-irs-and-other-government
  8. Premium Forwarding Service – Residential®
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/Premium-Forwarding-Service-Residential
  9. Check Your Address Ahead of More Stimulus Checks
    https://www.mymove.com/moving/paperwork/irs-update-address/
  10. Informed Delivery by USPS
    https://www.usps.com/manage/informed-delivery.htm
  11. USPS® In-Person Identity Proofing
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/USPS-In-Person-Identity-Proofing
  12. The Child Tax Credit
    https://www.whitehouse.gov/child-tax-credit/
  13. STIMULUS CHECK 2023: EVERY YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ECONOMIC IMPACT PAYMENTS
    https://ncblpc.org/stimulus-check/
  14. IRS – Let Us Help You
    https://www.irs.gov/help/telephone-assistance
  15. Topic No. 157, Change Your Address – How to Notify the IRS
    https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc157
  16. Treasury, IRS unveil online application to help with Economic Impact Payments; Get My Payment allows people to provide direct deposit information and gives payment date
    https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/treasury-irs-unveil-online-application
  17. How to Sign Up for Informed Delivery
    https://www.usps.com/c360/images/10.3.19_ID-Sign-Up_Guide.pdf
  18. Informed Delivery® – The Basics
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/Informed-Delivery-The-Basics
  19. 25 CFR § 115.416 – Will the United States post office forward mail regarding a minor’s supervised account to a forwarding address left with the United States post office?
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/25/115.416