There’s no new stimulus check yet, but you can set yourself up to receive it in the right place.

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If you recently moved or plan to soon, add two items to your checklist: informing the USPS of your new location, and doing the same with the IRS, even if it’s temporary. This will help make sure that if negotiations produce a new stimulus bill that includes a second stimulus check, yours won’t get lost in the shuffle if you receive it by mail. 

Even if you got your first check through direct deposit and would likely receive your second payment straight into your bank account as well, you’ll want to make sure you receive the IRS’ letter verifying when it sent your payment. This is important for anyone who may experience an unexpected holdup receiving their check, and contains phone numbers to reach out to the IRS economic impact payment helpline.

Over 15.9 million people moved in the US during the coronavirus pandemic, according to an Oct. 12 report from MyMove, a moving services company, citing change of address information from the USPS. A Pew Research report from July found that 22% of survey respondents (about one in five US adults) either moved because of COVID-19 or said they know someone who did.

The reasons include job loss, fear of getting sick with COVID-19 wanting to be closer to family, friends or a romantic partner. In addition, some may move to take advantage of cheaper rents in other cities or states. For example, the San Francisco Bay Area is seeing an exodus from the most expensive cities as rental prices drop. There’s a darker side, too, for people who have been forced to live out of their cars, RVs or on the street as a result of job loss and an inability to pay rent.

If you still haven’t received your stimulus payment and you’ve moved recently, the reason could be the IRS doesn’t have your updated mailing address, or it was sent to your old address. Follow these steps to change your address and inform the IRS so that when (and if) a second stimulus check or EIP debit card comes your way, you’ll be ready to receive your payment of (likely)  up to $1,200 and more money for your dependents.


Still missing your check? You may need to file a change of address.

Sarah Tew/CNET

How to forward your US mail when you move

When you first move, it’s important to forward your mail so you never miss an important document — like a stimulus check. Here’s how to do it.

1. In a browser window, visit usps.com/move.

2. Fill out the form with your contact information, the date you’d like the mail to start forwarding and your old and new addresses. Make sure everything is accurate and click Next when you’re ready to move on. 

3. Then, you’ll need to provide your payment method. It costs $1.05 each time you forward your mailing address. Note that you can’t use a prepaid credit or debit card to do this.

4. Once you’ve paid, you’ll receive an email confirmation that your change of address has been filed.

5. At your new address, look for a USPS Confirmation Notification Letter and welcome kit in the mail. USPS notes that it can take anywhere from three business days to two weeks before you start receiving your forwarded mail.

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How to let the IRS know that you have a new address

Once you’ve completed your change of address with USPS, you may also need to let the IRS know your new address — especially if you haven’t received the first stimulus check yet. The IRS says if you filed a 2019 tax return and didn’t provide your direct deposit information, the payment will be sent to the address on file. However, if you’ve forwarded your mail, USPS will have the updated information to get your check to you.

If you haven’t filed your taxes but plan to, use your new address. The IRS says it will update its records with your new address. If you’re typically not required to file taxes and haven’t received your stimulus payment, you can use the IRS’ Non-Filers tool until Nov. 21 to claim your missing money.

To notify the IRS of your address change, you can fill out Form 8822 or notify the IRS in writing at “the address where you filed your last return” by giving your full name, your old and new addresses, your Social Security number, individual taxpayer identification number or employer identification number, and your signature. The IRS says you can also do this by phone, but they may request additional information. Note that it can take four to six weeks for your change of address to be processed by the IRS.

For more information about stimulus checks, here’s where negotiations are for the next stimulus package, nine key facts to know about the next payment and four possible dates for when the IRS could send the next check and who could get it first

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