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Where's the federal stimulus dollars? The answer is complicated.

With billions of federal stimulus dollars floating across the country, 13News is getting questions from people who still haven’t received their money and desperately need it.

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - With billions of federal stimulus dollars floating across the country, 13News is getting questions from people who still haven’t received their money and desperately need it.

Where is the money?

IU Clinical Professor of Accounting Greg Geisler is following the federal money on its way to millions of Americans.

“If you filed your tax return and you got your money in a direct deposit, you should get it in the next couple of weeks,” Geisler said.

But let’s say you haven’t filed your 2019 tax return yet or instead of having your refund automatically deposited in a bank account, you rely on the U.S. Postal Service to deliver your refund check.

“It is going to take awhile,” Geisler said. “I don’t know when you are going to get it, but they are working on it.”

“They” are the IRS.

You could trying speeding things up by giving the IRS your banking information on the agency's "Get My Payment" website.

“And hopefully you will get further into the screens where you can put our direct deposit information. But a lot of people can’t get that far,” he explained.

But many people are hitting a dead end, getting the message “payment status is not available.”

“You can do nothing other than go back tomorrow and hopefully they load new information to the website,” Geisler said.

I tested the system. My wife checked on our stimulus money. The IRS said it’s in the bank. The online bank statement said, yes, it is.

But where’s my mom’s stimulus money? The dreaded “payment status not available” appeared on the computer screen. There is no one to call, no one to email. There are bunches of frequently asked questions, but no answer to when the money will arrive.

Days, weeks, months?

“That is what exactly everyone is wondering,” Geisler said. “Days, weeks, months, it’s completely unclear to everyone right now.”

The stimulus money will not affect your 2020 taxes or refunds. Hopefully, good things come to those who wait - but not too much longer.

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