The Internal Revenue Service inadvertently sent payments to over 13 million bank accounts that are no longer open or valid, and the agency is now trying to fix it, according to tax-preparation service Jackson Hewitt.
Millions of taxpayers who checked the status of their stimulus payments earlier in the week through IRS Get My Payment tool noticed that the funds had been deposited into bank accounts they did not recognize.
The funds were mistakenly deposited by IRS into temporary bank accounts created when people filed their 2019 tax returns with tax prep companies like H&R Block and TurboTax, among others.
The development is believed to cause payment delays to millions of Americans waiting to receive the new covid-19 relief payment they’re eligible for.
The IRS said on its website on Friday it is working to retrieve the funds from the wrong accounts and deposit them into the correct bank accounts.
“The IRS and tax industry partners are taking immediate steps to redirect stimulus payments to the correct account for those affected,” the agency said
“The information taxpayers see in the Get My Payment tool, including account numbers and potential deposit dates, may continue to display unfamiliar account numbers as the IRS continues to work through and update this issue,” IRS said
In a move to defuse tensions and assure its millions of customers, TurboTax said on its website the payments would start arriving Friday in the right accounts of its customers who were affected by the IRS’ error.
“We know how important these funds are for so many Americans and we regret that an IRS error caused a delay,” the tax preparation giant said in a blog post.
Some people who did not submit bank accounts will receive their stimulus payment via regular mail either in the form of a paper check or a pre-paid debit card.
IRS said it has so far deposited more than 100 million stimulus checks into eligible Americans’ bank accounts
The number of checks and the total amount of stimulus payments that went to closed or invalid accounts is not known as the IRS did not say.