In making the Economic Impact Payments (EIP) the IRS has directly deposited some payments into taxpayers’ bank accounts, has sent checks to some taxpayers and sent debit cards to other taxpayers. While undoubtedly some problems have occurred in the transmission of direct deposits and checks, the payment method receiving the greatest attention is the debit card payment method. According to press reports, here and here, some individuals receiving those cards mistook the cards for some type of scam and destroyed the cards as they might destroy other unwanted correspondence that arrives daily.
After destroying the cards, some of these individuals came to understand that perhaps they destroyed the stimulus payment from the IRS. Some individuals may still not realize what they have done.
The IRS has now published a phone number for individuals who lost or destroyed their debt card. Individuals in this situation should call 800-240-8100 and then select option 2. The IRS has indicated that the private vendor issuing the cards will waive the fee for the first reissuance of a card and will reverse any earlier-charged initial reissuance fees. See Q48 of the IRS FAQ here.
When the only mail you receive from the US Postal Service is junk mail, it’s easy to understand why individuals who were not expecting to receive the EIP via debt card should make this mistake. I hope that contacting the IRS at this number will result in recovery of the EIP without too much difficulty. We welcome comments from anyone who has experience with the process.
Update (06/06/2020): As pointed out below in the comments by Bob Kamman, the IRS has now released a new Q46 of the FAQs. The answer indicates that the amount limit on making ACH transfers from an EIP card to a bank account has been raised to $2,500 (the previous limit was $1,000).