Many People Have Seen Their Stimulus Checks Deposited in Unfamiliar Accounts

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While the debate over the dollar amount of a second round of direct payments to Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage, many of those who have expected to see $600 or potentially more hit their bank accounts are reporting some major issues.

Congress passed a COVID relief bill with a price tag of $900 billion just before Christmas. The bill included funding for enhanced unemployment benefits in addition to what many described as a measly $600 for individuals. More money is being allocated for families, but the amounts are still smaller than the payments disbursed after the CARES Act was passed in March.

Married couples with children will receive or have already received $600 for each parent and child, with a maximum of two children. That means a family of four is being disbursed $2,400 as long as it earned less than $150,000 in 2018 or 2019.

Some individuals and families have already received their stimulus checks, while others are experiencing some major issues. Some have taken to social media to share their complaints about, in particular, being informed their payments had been deposited into accounts they did not recognize via the IRS “Get My Payment” portal.

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The Internal Revenue Service, for its part, hasn’t offered a lot of clarity, and the agency wasn’t dragged on social media for its apparent tone-deafness.

Newsweek reported that the IRS assured Americans that their money is on the way.

“The direct deposit payments may take several days to post to individual accounts. Some Americans may have seen the direct deposit payments as pending or as provisional payments in their accounts before the scheduled payment date of January 4, 2021, which is the official date funds are available,” the IRS said in a statement to the outlet.

“Paper checks also began going out and will continue to be sent through January,” the agency said. “Some people will be mailed debit cards in January, and the IRS urges people to carefully check their mail. Mailed payments will require more processing and mailing time.

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“Those who reside abroad will have longer wait times for checks as disruptions to air travel and mail delivery in some countries will slow delivery.”

The IRS further noted that no action is required on the part of those expecting the payments.

H&R Block customers, in particular, have been reporting problems with their direct deposit payments.

The issue is so widespread that the company issued a statement about it on Twitter.

“The IRS Get My Payment website may display an account number you don’t recognize. If you took a Refund Transfer, it may be reflecting that account number. Check your 2019 return to confirm,” the company tweeted Monday.

H&R Block posted another tweet Monday that seemed to admit that there was a larger problem, but it offered no fixes or further explanations.

“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,” the company said.

The IRS said in a tweet Monday that the payments will be issued and no action is needed on the part of those experiencing issues and receiving mixed messages.

“#IRS is delivering a second round of Economic Impact Payments to millions of Americans. There’s no need for taxpayers to take any action, call the IRS or their financial institution,” the agency said.

The IRS is urging those with issues to check the status of their payments by using the “Get My Payment” portal on its website. The agency seemed to indicate that some people who are eligible for direct payments might not receive them, but it did not explain why.

In the statement to Newsweek, the IRS said, “If an eligible taxpayer does not get a payment or it is less than expected, it may be claimed on the 2020 tax return as the Recovery Rebate Credit. Remember, Economic Impact Payments are an advance payment of what will be called the Recovery Rebate Credit on the 2020 Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR.”

Phone calls to the IRS inquiring about the disbursement issues resulted in being disconnected from the agency’s automated telephone system each time.

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