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I am eligible to receive all three stimulus checks but I am living abroad. I was told by the IRS that they sent the first two but I never received them.

I do not have access to the original checks and so do not have the ability to cash them (as suggested in ab answer to a similar question).

I saw on the IRS website that there is a possibility to ask them to track the check. What happens if I ask them to track it before I submit my tax return?

Should I then claim the $1800 I should have been due to receive? Or claim $0 on the tax return and wait for them to track the check? Will they send the money afterwards or will I have to wait until 2021 to get the money?

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    Does this answer your question? Misplaced IRS EIP 3rd payment
    – RiverNet
    Apr 21 at 23:32
  • @SRiverNet no unfortunately not. I know I can initialise a payment trace. But if I do that then should I or should I not claim the refund credit on form 1040? If I had time I would wait until the payment trace was completed before submitting 1040 but the deadline is less than 6 weeks away
    – Cameron
    Apr 22 at 6:31
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    Your best option then is to call the IRS at 800-829-1040 and be prepared to be on hold. They can help you with the trace AND your 1040 question.
    – RiverNet
    Apr 22 at 11:12
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From the IRS Questions and Answers about the First Economic Impact Payment — Topic F: Payment Issued but Lost, Stolen, Destroyed or Not Received

Note: If you are filing your 2020 tax return before your trace is complete, do not include the payment amount on line 16 or 19 of the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit Worksheet. You may receive a notice saying your 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit was changed, but an adjustment will be made after the trace is complete and it is determined your payment has not been cashed. You will not need to take any additional action to receive the credit.

This appears to answer your questions:

Should I then claim the $1800 I should have been due to receive? Or claim $0 on the tax return and wait for them to track the check?

Don't include the amount on lines 16/19.

Will they send the money afterwards or will I have to wait until 2021 to get the money?

They will handle the situation. If the checks haven't been cashed you should get the money with your refund.

All this assumes you start the trace process.

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