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IRS Error Puts Stimulus Payments In Wrong Accounts

There were around 13 million defunct accounts that accidentally received stimulus check payments by the IRS, which the agency is now attempting to get to their right places, according to The New York Times on Sunday (Jan. 10).

Those who still haven’t received their stimulus payments are advised to keep an eye on their bank accounts as well as their mailboxes, both of which are possible ways the payments could be sent.

The stimulus checks, which will consist of $600 to eligible adults and children, are part of a sweeping $900 billion bill that was passed by Congress just before the new year. The package contained pandemic relief by way of the checks as well as more unemployment benefits and funding for more vaccine assistance.

But as with the first round of $1,200 stimulus checks from the CARES Act last spring, there have been some hiccups in getting them out because of the extremely quick timeline on passing the bill.

The reason for what happened, according to NYT, is that the payments were sent to temporary accounts set up by companies like TurboTax, H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt, for tax season when those companies handle peoples’ tax returns. After the process is done, the accounts often become inactive but are still linked to the companies’ records. The tax-prep companies say they’re working to help the IRS resolve the issue.

In a statement Friday, the IRS said “many additional taxpayers will receive payments following this effort” to correct the payments mistakenly sent to the wrong accounts.

The IRS recently drew criticism for the way taxpayers said it was handling the stimulus situation. PYMNTS wrote that taxpayers complained of long wait times, unhelpful websites and often the calls disconnected.

Some residents, according to PYMNTS, received messages that they wouldn’t be able to access their checks until they filed a 2020 tax return later in the year — not a helpful scenario for those looking to pay bills now.

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