Many report problems receiving stimulus checks |

Many report problems receiving stimulus checks

Jennifer Lewke
Updated: January 05, 2021 07:35 PM
Created: January 05, 2021 04:58 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) began sending out the second round of $600 stimulus payments this week but News10NBC has heard from hundreds of people locally who say their money has been sent to an account number they don’t recognize.

It appears those impacted had their 2019 taxes prepared by either H&R Block, Turbo Tax or Liberty Tax and had the preparation fees taken out of the refund and/or those who chose to get an advance on their refund from the tax prep company.

In a tweet, H&R Block said, “The IRS Get My Payment website may display an account number you don’t recognize. If you took a refund transfer, it may be reflecting that account number. Check your 2019 return to confirm. But don’t worry—we have sent these payments on the method you chose for Refund Transfer: direct deposit, check or Emerald Card. The money should be there by the end of the day.”

— H&R Block (@HRBlock) January 5, 2021

Basically, the IRS sent your stimulus money to the tax prep companies (those are the unfamiliar account numbers you’re seeing) and now those companies need to disperse it to you which most say they will do in the next two to three days.    

Tashara Spinx is a mother of three from Rochester who was hoping to use the money to get ahead.

“I’m not in a bind where I can't pay my bills or you know anything of that sort it's just the fact that we waited so long and felt that we were entitled to it and now we got to go through this hurdle,” she told News10NBC.  

So, that explains one problem but Priscilla Rizzo of Rochester has a different issue.

“This time around, somehow it (stimulus payment) was sent to my old bank account that was closed and now I'm wondering, where is it going to go,” she asked News10NBC.

According to the IRS, “because of the speed at which IRS issued this second round of payments, some payments may have been sent to an account that may be closed or no longer active.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must return the payment to the IRS, they cannot hold and issue the payment to an individual when the account is no longer active.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 these payments, if you have not received your full payment by the time you file your 2020 tax return, you may claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on your tax return.”

And then, there’s this problem.

“My boyfriend and his sister, they're having an issue where they don't even have a date when they check on their money on the website,” Rizzo explained.

News10NBC has heard from hundreds of others who say they got their first stimulus check fine earlier this year but they haven’t received a deposit yet and when they check the IRS site it says, “We don’t have enough information yet (we’re working on this.)" or "You’re not eligible for a payment.”

The IRS says that payments started going out last week and will continue through mid-January. The “Get my Payment” toll is updated daily and chances are the IRS just hasn’t gotten to you yet. Direct deposit payments are being made first to those that have valid routing and account information on file for direct deposit purposes and then paper checks will be cut.  

In a statement, a spokeswoman for Congressman Joe Morelle says, “We encourage anyone facing challenges receiving their $600 direct payments to reach out to our office so we can help ensure every eligible community member receives this much-needed support.”

News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke also spoke with US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today about the issues:

Jennifer Lewke (News10NBC) - Have you heard of these problems and did you expect it to go smoother the second time around?

Sen. Gillibrand - I certainly would have hoped it would have went smoother the second time around. It shouldn’t be that hard to get money into the hands of people who desperately need it. But our office can be available to do constituent services to help people individually get their stimulus checks.

Click here for the IRS's “Get my Payment” tool.

Contact information:

Congressman Joe Morelle's website.
Phone number: 585-232-4850

Congress Tom Reed's website.
Phone number: 315-759-5529

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's website.
Phone number: 585-263-6250
Fax: 866-824-6340

Senator Chuck Schumer's website.
Phone number: 585-263-5866

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