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The IRS started depositing stimulus checks – but not everyone is happy

Published Apr 18th, 2020 10:31AM EDT
Stimulus Check
Image: ERIK S LESSER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
  • The IRS started depositing $1,200 into millions of bank accounts this week as part of the government’s $2 trillion stimulus package.
  • There have been some stimulus check problems as some people are receiving too much money and others not enough.
  • The IRS is aware of some technical issues and has rolled out a few online tools to help the situation.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

With large portions of the economy at a standstill due to the coronavirus, and with unemployment at record levels, President Trump late last month signed a $2 trillion stimulus package designed to help keep the economy afloat. As part of the package, millions of eligible Americans will receive $1,200 checks to help them get through what is arguably an unprecedented economic downturn.

Earlier this week, the IRS started making said payments and many individuals noticed an additional $1,200 sitting in their bank accounts. But as it turns out, there have been quite a few glitches along the way. While some eligible individuals still haven’t received their payment, others are getting far too much deposited into their accounts and others far too little. As an extreme example, you may have seen that a man in Indiana checked his bank account earlier this week and noticed an IRS deposit of $8.2 million. More commonly, some individuals are noticing they’re not receiving additional funds for their dependents.

Now as to what’s going on, well, there are a few factors in play.

For starters, not every taxpayer has bank account information linked up with the IRS. Consequently, direct deposit isn’t an option and these individuals will instead receive check payouts. The downside to that is that checks may take a few months to arrive.

Meanwhile, individuals who use tax services like TurboTax have noticed that they have yet to receive a $1,200 deposit.

To this end, The Washington Post reports:

Up to 21 million tax filers could be affected, said consumer law expert Vijay Raghavan, because the IRS does not have these people’s direct deposit information on file if they received an advance on their tax refund from these companies or had the fee for tax preparation taken out of their tax refund.

The reason is that tax preparation companies received these people’s tax refunds first, deducted their fees and then distributed the remaining refunds to the customers. Because of that, the IRS had a “temporary bank account” on file that the tax preparer created for the 2019 tax season, Raghavan said.

In turn, the IRS this week launched a new tool it calls Get My Payment which allows taxpayers to enter their direct deposit information.

Other individuals who have yet to receive payment include individuals who didn’t file a 2018 or 2019 tax return, along with folks who filed their 2019 tax return late. If you fall into this category, the IRS has a special online tool you can check out here where you can enter your direct deposit information.

There have also been a number of other frustrating problems impacting the IRS’s payment efforts. Some people, for instance, have had money deposited into old bank accounts they no longer have access to.

All told, an estimated 150 million Americans are set to receive a stimulus check over the next few weeks.

Now if you haven’t received a payment yet, it’s also possible you’re not eligible. A list of people who aren’t eligible for the $1,200 payment includes college students, dependents, senior citizens who are supported by family members, immigrants without social security numbers, people who are behind on child support payments, and anyone who earned more than $98,000 in income last year.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.