Why Is Your Stimulus Check Delayed?

April 17, 2020

If you already received your stimulus check, consider yourself lucky.

According to the Treasury Department, approximately 80 million Americans who had their bank information on file with the IRS should get their checks this week.

Unfortunately, many people who used popular tax preparations services like H&R Block, TurboTax, and Jackson Hewitt are still waiting to get their money.

A “glitch” has caused a delay for millions of people who used those services for their 2018 or 2019 taxes because the IRS did not have their direct deposit information on file, reported the Washington Post.

When many of those taxpayers attempted to check the status of their stimulus money using the IRS’s “Get My Payment” tool they received a confusing “Payment Status Not Available” message.

One of the reasons up to 21 million tax filers could be affected is if they received an advance on their refunds from the popular tax services or had the fee for preparing their taxes taken out of their refunds.

Services like H&R Block and TurboTax often receive the refund first, deduct their fees and then distribute the remaining refund to the taxpayers. Due to this process, the IRS only had a “temporary bank account” on file which was created by the tax preparer. So, the IRS never had the taxpayer’s actual bank information in the first place.

While the IRS says it’s currently working to resolve the issues that have led to the delay, some people have been able to update their bank information using the “Get My Payment” tool.

Other people have reported instances where the IRS put their checks in accounts that they no longer used or did not recognize.

The Get My Payment tool notified taxpayers saying their money had been deposited and displayed the last four digits of the account number where it was sent. Some Americans said the account number was either wrong or outdated.

Jodie Reynolds, an IRS spokesperson, said she was not aware of checks being sent to the wrong accounts. She said the money should be returned to the IRS or rejected by banks if this does happen.

The Get My Payment tool received "record volume" as the IRS said 9.8 million Americans had checked the status of their check and 1.6 million people submitted direct deposit information.

The checks are part of the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill Congress passed last month.

Eligible individuals making less than $75,000 a year will receive $1,200, those who earn between $75,000 and $99,000 will see a gradually reduced payment, while those who make more than $99,000 will get nothing.

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