Stimulus Checks: What to Do If Your Payment Is Sent to the Wrong Bank Account

The rollout of the government stimulus plan as part of the CARES act has been troublesome, to say the least. Given the size of the effort, this shouldn't be a surprise but it is still frustrating for those who need the money.

We've seen numerous stories of people being paid after they've passed away, others have seen money go to foreign nationals instead of American citizens and others are just having difficulty getting a payment or check at all. Then you have another interesting issue that has popped up after some checks landed in the wrong bank accounts.

Most cases didn't feature any trouble for people, pulling information from their most recent tax return. This includes direct deposit used on any refunds in 2019 or 2018. But for those facing some issues, the payment is going to a bank account they no longer use or don't recognize because the government information is outdated. If you are in this category, there is a solution.

According to The Motley Fool, there are several reasons why this might happen. The first and most obvious one is that your direct deposit information is connected to a bank account you no longer use. The other reasons are related to options that involve your tax preparation service or method of refund.

If you used a tax preparer in 2018 or 2019 that paid you a refund anticipation loan or check, that could cause an issue with the location of your stimulus check. The same is true if you had your refund loaded into a prepaid debit card instead of a bank deposit and then ditched the card after using it.


If this sounds like your situation, the IRS doesn't have your correct info on file. But the good news is that the system is set up to avoid this and get you your money. It could just take a bit of time. But when a check or deposit is sent to an account that is defunct or no longer in use, the bank is meant to reject the payment back to the IRS. From there, they will process the returned payment and then move on to mail a check to the address on file. If this is a different address, this could also be an issue, but you will receive your money in some form.

While this isn't perfect for citizens who are desperate for payment, it is still a safety net that will get you your money. $300 billion in stimulus CARES act money will create some of those issues and hiccups over time. If you still haven't received your payment or have run into an issue described above, keep patient. Your check will arrive.