Some taxpayers find relief payments sent to wrong account

FILE - In this April 23, 2020, file photo, President Donald Trump's name is seen on a stimulus check issued by the IRS to help combat the adverse economic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, in San Antonio. A number of taxpayers who use tax preparation services, such as H&R Block and TurboTax, say their second relief payments were sent to the incorrect bank account. The IRS and the Treasury Department began issuing the Economic Impact Payments last week of Jan. 1, 2021.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
FILE - In this April 23, 2020, file photo, President Donald Trump's name is seen on a stimulus check issued by the IRS to help combat the adverse economic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, in San Antonio. A number of taxpayers who use tax preparation services, such as H&R Block and TurboTax, say their second relief payments were sent to the incorrect bank account. The IRS and the Treasury Department began issuing the Economic Impact Payments last week of Jan. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A number of taxpayers who use tax preparation services, such as H&R Block and TurboTax, say their second relief payments were sent to the incorrect bank account, forcing them to wait longer for their money.

The IRS and the Treasury Department began issuing the Economic Impact Payments last week. The payment is $600 for each eligible adult and dependent for people earning up to $75,000, or $150,000 for married couples filing jointly. Those earning more than that are eligible for a reduced payment.

The IRS said that direct deposit payments would take several days to post to individual accounts but funds were largely available on Monday. Some payments are also being sent via paper check or debit cards during the month of January.

However, many people said that they checked the IRS site and found their payments were sent to an account they did not recognize.

News4Jax received dozens of emails and messages from viewers who said when they checked where their money went, they found it went to a bank account they didn’t recognize.

“It pulled up and my first payment was the first thing you saw, and it had my account number,” said Heidi Eddinger-Cook.

Eddinger-Cook says she had no problem when the first round of $1,200 stimulus payments was sent in March.

“Then I saw payment two and that’s when I saw a completely different account number and I was like what do I do!” she said.

Eddinger-Cook says she was relieved to hear another round was coming.

“I started crying because I have three children. That’s our money because it helps us with our kids,” Eddinger-Cook said.

In a statement from H&R Block the company said:

“H&R Block understands stimulus checks are vitally important for millions of Americans. The IRS determines where second stimulus payments were sent, and in some cases, money was sent to a different account than the first stimulus payment last spring. We immediately deposited millions of stimulus payments to customers’ bank accounts and onto our Emerald Prepaid Mastercard® yesterday, and all direct deposits are being processed.”

The company went on to recommend people who filed with the service and did not get their payment to check the Get My Payment tab on IRS.gov website

H&R Block says the best way to contact the company for additional information is at 800-HRBLOCK and @HRBlockAnswers on Twitter.

Turbo Tax released this statement about missing payments:

“The IRS is the sole party with the ability to determine eligibility and distribute stimulus payments. We know how important these funds are for so many Americans and that everyone is anxious to get their money. We are partnering with the IRS to help taxpayers receive their payments as quickly as possible.”

Samantha Smith of Dallas said she received her $1,200 relief payment in the spring via direct deposit without any issues. But her payment for this round of economic relief went to an account she did not recognize.

She contacted TurboTax, which prepared her most recent tax filing, and was told if she paid her tax preparation fees with her refund due, rather than paying for it upfront, then the second payment may have been sent to a TurboTax bank. Several other taxpayers who paid their fees the same way also reported delays.

Smith, who was laid off in October, had planned to use the money to pay her rent and is frustrated as her hands tied until the money comes in.

“I would love that money," she said. “It's imperative."

There is no exact measure at this time of how many taxpayers were impacted. The IRS did not have a comment early Tuesday on the scope or cause of the problem.

TurboTax said that the IRS is the “sole party with the ability to determine eligibility and distribute stimulus payments" and that by law, the financial institution must return the payment to the IRS if an account is no longer active.

The IRS has said that there is no action required by eligible individuals to receive this second payment. The payments are automatic, and people should not contact their financial institutions or the IRS with payment timing questions.


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