Stimulus check US coronavirus: What to do if the IRS has deposited the money into another bank account

More technical problems have emerged with the IRS Emergency Impact payment system with some checks being deposited in the wrong back account.

Stimulus check US coronavirus: What to do if the IRS has deposited the money into another bank account
Dado Ruvic REUTERS

While the majority of Americans have not experienced any problems receiving their stimulus checks, such a vast operation is impossible without a few technical glitches. Eligible citizens have received, or are about to receive, their payments of up to $1,200 per adult and and additional $500 for every dependent child but inevitably, some payments have gone missing.

Some, who have yet to receive their stimulus check have logged into the IRS Get My Payment portal only to discover that the payment has been made – either to an old bank account which they no longer use or to another account, possibly someone else’s.

Bank account no longer active

If your stimulus payment has gone astray, it could be because you have changed banks since last filing a tax return – either in 2018 or 2019.

Alternatively, in last year’s tax declaration or the previous year’s, you may have filed with help from a Tax Return Preparer, enrolled agents or certified public accountant and requested a refund anticipation loan (RAL) or a refund anticipation check (RAC) instead waiting to receive your tax rebate. Those payments may have been made into a temporary bank account.

It is also possible that you asked for your tax rebate in either 2018 or 2019 to be charged to a prepaid debit card instead of a direct deposit payment into your bank account, then stopped using the card which by now might have expired.

If any of the three cases mentioned above apply to you, then it is can be assumed that the bank account information which the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has on record for you is out of date. When sending out stimulus payments via direct deposit, the IRS will use the bank details given on your most recent tax return (for the tax year 2019); if you haven’t filed this year’s tax return yet, they will refer to the address on your tax return from the previous year (2018).

Making sure your bank details and current address are up to date

If your stimulus check has been sent to an old bank account which is no longer active, the money will be automatically returned to the IRS. You can find out if your payment has been returned, through the Get My Payment function which can be accessed here. It should read: "Mailed Payment".

If you have closed your bank account, the IRS will send your stimulus check to you by mail – to the address which was given on your most recent tax return. If you have changed address since then, contact the USPS to confirm a new address where the check can be sent. There is a one dollar charge to change your address online.

It is very unlikely that your stimulus check will have been sent to someone else's back account but if you have a feeling that might have happened, contact the IRS directly through the IRS2GO Mobile app or in writing to your local IRS office. 

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