Keri Behling has been eagerly awaiting her third stimulus payment. His car broke down three weeks ago and he plans to buy a new one with the incoming check, he tells CNBC Make It.
But when Behling checked the status of her payment in the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Get My Payment tool, the Florida resident saw that it had once again been deposited into the wrong bank account. Behling, 39, has filed his taxes with TurboTax for the past six years. And like millions of other clients of many tax preparation software companies, the IRS sent their second stimulus payment to the wrong bank account.
Tax preparation companies and the IRS said they had worked together to fix the third payment problem. But dozens of TurboTax customers wrote on CNBC Make It to say that they are still experiencing the same problem: Like Behling, when they check the IRS Get My Payment tool, they are told that their payment has been deposited into the wrong bank account. .
Many, including Behling, identified the numbers as belonging to “transfer” accounts that TurboTax had previously set up for them. Others said their payments were sent to closed bank accounts that they used to use.
Many said they had updated their account information with TurboTax after the last stimulus payment was deposited through a link the company sent to customers.
That includes Behling, who also set out to file his 2020 taxes early, as suggested by the IRS. But that effort wasn’t worth it – the stimulus funds were still deposited into an account that you can’t access.
When she called TurboTax, the company said there was nothing it could do to help her, Behling says. Instead, you will have to try to contact the IRS, which is disbursing the payments.
“I was on hold with the IRS for over an hour,” says Behling. “The person who finally answered … put me on hold and sent me back to a recording that said my call could not be completed.”
Tiffany Rabon, 40, has contacted TurboTax about the same problem. The South Carolina resident says the company only told her that it worked with the IRS to update all of the customer’s account information. But the IRS tool still shows you that the third payment was deposited into a closed bank account.
“Why should we be punished for waiting for our stimulus money when it was not our mistake?” Rabon says.
A TurboTax spokesperson said the account problem is affecting a “small group” of customers who updated their banking information directly with TurboTax during the second stimulus payment.
“We have contacted these clients directly with information about their stimulus payment,” they said.
It is not just TurboTax. Abby Masters, an H&R Block customer, told CNBC Make It that, like the second stimulus check, her third deposit was once again sent to the wrong account via H&R Block’s Emerald card, a product in which customers can choose to deposit their tax refund.
Masters, 38, has called H&R Block multiple times for support, but, like TurboTax, the company cannot divert payments on its own.
“They haven’t fixed anything,” Masters says.
A spokesperson for H&R Block said incidents like the one Masters experienced were “isolated” and pointed CNBC Make It to a press release that said stimulus payments to Emerald Cards had finished processing Tuesday. The spokesperson directed people experiencing problems to call the Emerald Card helpline at 866-353-1266.
Payments to closed accounts will be reissued
According to the IRS, the stimulus payments will be deposited into the bank account where a taxpayer’s last tax refund was deposited. In some cases, the IRS has not yet processed the 2020 returns, which means it will still be deposited into the account that the 2019 refund was sent to. Others will receive their stimulus payment by check.
Treasury and IRS officials have said they had worked to correct the account confusion problem and that there would be a way for any taxpayer experiencing the problem to fix it.
In response to this article, an IRS spokesperson told CNBC Make It that the agency believes that “the volume of payments going to closed accounts will be significantly less than any previous round of Economic Impact Payments.”
Any payments sent to closed accounts will be returned to the IRS and reissued in less than two weeks, the spokesperson said. Some have already been reissued. The Get My Payment tool will display updated information when available, and taxpayers will not have to take action themselves.
“We are working hard to minimize the burden on taxpayers whenever possible during this extraordinary time,” the IRS spokesman said. “We have been working around the clock on the stimulus payments and application season.”
Do not miss: Tens of millions will receive the third stimulus payment on March 17.
Check out: Use this calculator to see exactly how much your third coronavirus stimulus check could be worth