Stimulus check problems: What to do if check goes into wrong account, IRS 'Get My Payment' portal shows error

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Thursday, April 16, 2020
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'Shark Tank's' Robert Herjavec goes over frequently asked stimulus check questions, including what to do if you haven't received it yet.

As millions are receiving their coronavirus relief checks, many eligible Americans are encountering issues.

According to the IRS, those who filed 2018 or 2019 tax returns and provided direct deposit information would automatically receive the payments in their bank accounts. But that has not been the case for everyone.

Here are issues some have encountered:

My stimulus check went into the wrong bank account

Some taxpayers said their stimulus money was issued but deposited in the wrong accounts.

Those who do not see their payment credited to their accounts should contact their banks directly, according to the IRS.

To help taxpayers whose payments have gone to the wrong account, the IRS plans to mail a letter to the most recent address on file for each recipient 15 days after the payment is sent, which "will provide information on how the payment was made and how to report any failure to receive the payment," according to the IRS website.

Many of those experiencing this problem hired tax companies that used specific bank accounts to process their tax refunds, said tax expert Eab Nassif.

The bank numbers that these taxpayers see on the IRS's website belong to tax preparation firms and was used to take out fees for tax prepper, Nassif said. That way, customers don't have to pay tax preppers out of pocket.

"I think it's just bad communication between the banks and the IRS on how they're supposed to handle this money, especially now that the money is being sent," he said.

The IRS has not directly addressed the issue, but some banks have notified customers that an automated process to return the payments to the IRS has been put in place.

A deceased loved one or relative received a stimulus check

The IRS is using taxpayer information that is up to two years old, and it is inevitable that it will send out checks to taxpayers who are deceased.

Rep. Thomas Massie, R.-Ky., tweeted a message from a friend who told him his father received a stimulus check.

I got a "Payment Status Not Available" error on the IRS Get My Payment portal

The IRS set up a "Get My Payment" tool on its website to let eligible Americans know when to expect their stimulus checks.

Some, however, received a "Payment Status Not Available" error after entering their information. This means that the IRS cannot determine eligibility at this time.

For example, those who have not filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return may receive this error.

I got a different error on the IRS Get My Payment portal

  • "Need More Information": You are eligible for a payment, but the IRS does not have your direct deposit information. The agency will give you the opportunity to give them this information once it verifies your identity.
  • "Please Try Again Later": Your account has been locked. You will able to access the application after 24 hours have passed.
  • "Please Wait": The agency has urged taxpayers in a statement to limit themselves to checking the tool once per day due to high volume. If volume does get too high, the IRS said users may be sent to an online "wait room."

I no longer use the bank account that I used for direct deposit on my tax return

The bank will reject the stimulus money for any bank account that's closed. Then, the IRS will mail the check to the address it has on file.

My address is different since filing my last tax return

If you have not filed your 2019 tax return, enter your new address on your return when you file. If you have filed and the address is still different, make sure your address is updated through the United States Postal Service.