I am getting this question a lot when it comes to the recently paid stimulus checks. But there are two different questions and outcomes here. One is not so great news, the other is better but means a delay in receiving your stimulus payment.
But before answering it is important to realize that the IRS will use the information on your 2018 or 2019 tax return with direct deposit information to deposit your stimulus payment directly in your bank account. You cannot change this information at this stage. For non filers it will use the information you should have provided in the IRS non-filers tool.
Closed Bank Account Stimulus Check Deposits
The IRS has confirmed that if it attempts to use direct deposit but an account is closed, the bank will reject the deposit, and the IRS will mail you a paper check with the address it has on file for you. However, paper checks may take weeks longer to arrive than direct deposits. Regardless of how the IRS sends your stimulus payment, it will also send a letter to the mailing address it has on file for you to let you know “how the payment was made and how to report any failure to receive the payment,” according to its website.
My Stimulus Payment went to the wrong account
Several thousand people are also reporting that it looks like their stimulus payment went to the wrong account based on the IRS stimulus payment status tool. This seems to be primarily related to people who filed their taxes through tax preparation services like H&R Block and TurboTax and received refund and reached an agreement with these services to recieve an advance refund (or refund transfer). Time magazine reported on this issue which is caused because the IRS didn’t have direct deposit information for tax filers who used a refund transfer and received their money on a debit card. Naturally tax preparation companies are pushing back and saying this is an IRS processing issue.
H&R Block spokesperson told TIME that the IRS “has bank account information for all H&R Block clients who received tax refunds electronically, and is determining when and how stimulus payments are distributed. [The IRS] has created confusion by not always using clients’ final destination bank account information for stimulus payments,” the spokesperson continued. “We share our clients’ frustration that many of them have not yet received these much-needed payments due to IRS decisions, and we are actively working with the IRS to get stimulus payments sent directly to client accounts.”
Likewise, a TurboTax spokesperson said that the “IRS has the appropriate banking information for all TurboTax filers, which can be used by them to distribute stimulus payments. This is true regardless of whether a customer chose to receive their refund on a debit card, selected refund transfer or other services. Any TurboTax customer who selects a refund transfer or a debit card and gets a stimulus payment sent from the IRS to those accounts will receive those stimulus payments without delay or fees into the account they received their tax refund,” the TurboTax spokesperson added.
If your payment was actually sent and deposited into the wrong account then you probably are going to have limited options. Your best bet is to contact the bank where your money was deposited (per IRS status) and ask to see if they can reverse the payment. But again this will mean the stimulus payment will be sent back to the IRS and you will need to wait for a paper check.
This article was updated on April 22