Didn’t Get Your Stimulus Check? You Might Want to Blame TurboTax or H&R Block

US Treasury concept check to illustrate coronavirus stimulus payment on keyboard used for working from home.
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Have you checked the IRS website to find out if your stimulus check is on its way yet? If you used TurboTax or H&R Block to file your taxes in 2019, you may have hit a snag. Some customers who filed their 2019 taxes through the popular tax prep firms or do-it-yourself tax software programs in 2019 may have had their second stimulus payment funds sent directly to accounts used for their tax refund advances last year.

See: The Major Tax Changes for 2021 You Need To Know AboutFind: Will Your $600 Stimulus Check Come on a Debit Card?

If that’s the case, you may have seen an account number you didn’t recognize when you logged into the IRS website to check if your second stimulus payment is on its way. The number you saw most likely belongs to the pass-through account TurboTax or H&R Block used to distribute your tax refund to you.

H&R Block tweeted Monday night that if you took a Refund Transfer on your 2019 taxes, the account number on the IRS website could reflect that account number. Whether you received your first stimulus payment through direct deposit into your own bank account or through the H&R Block Refund Transfer program, this time it could be going through H&R Block’s program. But H&R Block’s Twitter account doesn’t want customers to worry.

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“We have sent these payments on to the method you chose for Refund Transfer: direct deposit, check or Emerald Card. The money should be there by the end of the day,” the company tweeted Monday night.

Many customers on Twitter were not happy, with some demanding an apology for the error. Others speculated that H&R Block might be collecting interest on the funds as taxpayers waited for their money. Others who received their refund via direct deposit the first time would prefer not to receive an Emerald Card, which is a reloadable, prepaid Mastercard debit card issued by H&R Block for those who request an advance on their tax refund.

Both TurboTax and H&R Block issued statements on Tuesday, with H&R Block sharing the steps they were taking to correct the issue and providing a phone number and Twitter account to help customers.

From H&R Block:

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. We immediately deposited millions of stimulus payments to customers’ bank accounts and onto our Emerald Prepaid Mastercard® yesterday, and all direct deposits are being processed. If the IRS Get My Payment website displays an account number a customer doesn’t recognize, H&R Block customer service agents are ready to help with additional information at 800-HRBLOCK and @HRBlockAnswers on Twitter.

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From TurboTax:

The IRS is the sole party with the ability to determine eligibility and distribute stimulus payments.

As part of the income tax filing, the IRS receives accurate banking information for all TurboTax filers who receive a tax refund, which the IRS is able to use to deposit stimulus payments.

According to the IRS, “Because of the speed at which the IRS issued this second round of payments, some payments may have been sent to an account that may be closed or no longer active. By law, the financial institution must return the payment to the IRS, they cannot hold and issue the payment to an individual when the account is no longer active.”

While the IRS is exploring options to correct their issue, this may cause a delay in stimulus payments for some.

We know how important these funds are for so many Americans and that everyone is anxious to get their money. We are partnering with the IRS to help taxpayers receive their payments as quickly as possible.

Whether you used H&R Block or TurboTax, or if you haven’t received your stimulus payment yet for another reason, you still have options.

See: The Stimulus Check Secret You Need to Know Before You File Your 2020 TaxesFind: $600 vs. $2,000: The Stimulus Shortfall by the Numbers

If you do not receive your second stimulus payment or if you are still waiting for your first payment from 2020, you can claim the stimulus funds when you file your 2020 tax returns. The money can be claimed as a refundable tax credit to reduce the amount of money you owe or increase your tax refund.

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