Not all the kinks from the first stimulus check program have been ironed out. Some American taxpayers who used online tax preparation software might see their $600 checks later than others because the checks were sent to the service companies, like TurboTax or H&R Block, instead of those who used their services. The issue could affect as many as 14 million people, a banking industry source told NBC News earlier this week.
Millions of Americans already began receiving the $600 payments during the last week of December, if the IRS had their direct deposit information. However, some people who used the IRS' "Get My Payment" tracker discovered their payment went to a different bank account. This is a similar problem that showed up during the first stimulus check round.
Some taxpayers who use "Refund Transfer" services that allow tax preparing services to take fees out of their tax refund had their payments delayed. The preparer usually creates a temporary bank account to receive a taxpayer's refund, then takes out the fees before sending the refund to the customer. This means that the IRS' file would have a temporary bank account, which has since been closed in many situations. Depending on the case, some customers could see the funds eventually, either directly deposited or as a pre-paid debit card.
Others could see even longer delays if their payment is sent as a physical paper check. Some could even receive it as a credit on their 2020 taxes. "In some cases, money was sent to a different account than the first stimulus payment last spring," H&R Block said in a statement to NBC News.
TurboTax customers affected by the IRS issue could see their payments deposited into their bank accounts by Friday, spokeswoman Ashley McMahon told USA Today earlier this week. The payments will be sent to the same bank account where the customer received their 2019 tax refund, and the update might not be immediately on the "Get My Payment" tool, McMahon said. "We have been working tirelessly with the Treasury and IRS to get stimulus payments to our customers," she explained. "We know how important these funds are for so many Americans and we regret that an IRS error caused a delay."
As for H&R Block customers, the company said stimulus payments to its customers will be sent as a direct deposit, check, or Emerald Cards, a prepaid card used for tax returns. Customers who have not received their $600 payment can call H&R Block at 800-HRBLOCK. Customers who use an Emerald Card can contact 866-353-1266. The IRS has directed Americans to not call the agency, but instead, find answers on the IRS website.