Recognition…Sarah Blesener for the New York Times
The federal government has only just started sending out a second round of stimulus payments, and many people are already waiting a little longer than expected for their money.
Many payments have been sent to inactive or temporary accounts that taxpayers cannot access. It’s not clear how many people are affected, but tax preparation firm Jackson Hewitt said the Internal Revenue Service sent payments to more than 13 million bank accounts that were no longer open or valid.
“Due to the speed at which the law required the IRS to issue the second round of economic impact payments, some payments may have been sent to an account that may be closed or inactive,” the agency said in a statement Tuesday.
Companies like TurboTax, H&R Block, and Jackson Hewitt sometimes set up temporary accounts for customers as they prepare returns. For example, customers who choose to have prep fees deducted from their refund can be issued one of these accounts so the tax authorities can take their share and pass the rest on. After that, the accounts are typically inactive – but may still be linked to taxpayers in IRS records. Payments sent to inactive accounts must be returned to the Treasury Department.
Individuals who don’t get their payments promptly should apply for what is known as Recovery Rebate Credit on their 2020 tax returns, according to the IRS. (The credit can be found on line 30 of the 2020 Form 1040 or 1040-SR.)
Taxpayers can check the status of their stimulus payments using the IRS’s Get My Payment tool. If you can’t see the account number that received the payment, it could be one of these temporary accounts.
The tax preparation firms reported working on payments to customers.
H&R Block stated that it has already forwarded stimulus payments to customers’ bank accounts and to certain customers via prepaid debit cards. A TurboTax spokeswoman said the company is working with the IRS to help taxpayers get their payments as soon as possible. And Jackson Hewitt suggested on his website that customers consider taking advantage of the discount on their 2020 taxes.