Why some stimulus checks may have gone to wrong bank accounts

KTRK logo
Thursday, April 16, 2020
Many people  are reporting that they are not getting their checks from the government
A lot of people are reporting that they can't find their stimulus checks. This may be one reason why.

As Americans start receiving stimulus checks, some say their payments went into the wrong bank accounts.

Santiago Villanuaba is one of many taxpayers who visited the IRS website Wednesday and realized his stimulus check went into the wrong account.

What Villanuaba has in common with others experiencing this issue is that they all used tax companies who use bank products for taxes.

It's a way tax preparers can get a customer an advance on the refund, for instance, if a customer needed the cash fast.

Some who were expecting stimulus checks to come directly to them are now realizing those checks have gone to those other accounts.

"The number that they're seeing is the banks that we use to process these returns and to take out the access fees appropriately," said tax expert Eab Nassif.

A bank product for taxes, however, is typically only authorized by the IRS to receive tax refunds, which are then issued to the taxpayer by the preparer.

"I think its 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," said Nassif.

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.

"We're hoping that the IRS will default the payment back to check by U.S. mail so the taxpayer will be able to receive their stimulus check very soon," explained Nassif.

But some like Villanuaba have not heard anything just yet.

"We wanna know where the money is at. Why would they do that? How come they didn't have a better plan customer service wise, make people feel a sense of relief?" said Villanueba.

If you need to check your payment status, the IRS launched this tool.

Follow Stefania Okolie on Instagram and Twitter.