Didn’t get your stimulus check? Here’s why and what to do

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FILE – In this April 23, 2020, file photo, President Donald Trump’s name is seen on a stimulus check issued by the IRS to help combat the adverse economic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, in San Antonio, Texas. A federal judge says the IRS can’t keep withholding coronavirus relief payments from incarcerated people, potentially clearing the way for at least 80,000 checks totaling more than $100 million to be sent to people behind bars across the United States. The ruling from U.S. District Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton late last month gives the IRS until Oct. 24 to reconsider the payments for those who were denied or had their money intercepted solely because of their incarceration. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

Many people have had questions about their stimulus checks, sister station WSPA 7News looked into it.

We found out they are delayed for millions of Americans. The IRS says it sent some deposits to bank accounts that were already closed.

Why, and what you should do about it in this 7news investigation.

CHECK YOUR STATUS:

The IRS tool Get My Payment allows you to check your stimulus check status.

When Betty Keller in Blacksburg NC did that she says the stie told her the money was deposited into a bank account that was not hers.

“I thought I was getting scammed when I seen the fake account or the account number I thought it was a fake account,” said Keller.

But it wasn’t a scam. It was an error.

WHAT HAPPENED:

The IRS had deposited her check into a bank account set up in connection with her tax preparer, H&R Block when she filed her 2019 taxes. That’s because Keller opted to pay her tax preparer using her refund, so the bank facilitated that payment and then sent the rest to Keller.

Other preparers like Jackson Hewitt and even Turbo Tax are in the same situation. In many cases those temporary bank accounts have since been closed.

IRS Enrolled agent Dan Thomas, a tax preparer with Jackson Hewitt says at least 13 million Americans are affected.

“You hear the phone ringing off the hook here, it’s just been nuts because people are wanting to know where’s my stimulus check. We can’t trace the money and when it hits a closed bank account, it doesn’t matter if it’s a Republic Bank account (used by Jackson Hewitt and other preparers) or a closed bank account at another bank, it will be returned to the IRS.”

It’s important to note, this issue only affects people who paid their tax prep fees through their tax refund.

Some tax prep companies like H&R Block said customers will still get their money via direct deposit, but the IRS tells 7News “If Get My Payment shows “Payment Status #2 – Not Available” you will not receive a second EIP (Economic Impact Payment).”

WHAT SHOULD I DO?:

That means your only option is to “file your 2020 tax return electronically and claim the Recovery Rebate Credit.” according to the IRS.

Fortunately for Keller, who checked her bank account, the mystery is now solved.

“I said well won’t you look at that, they are on our way to talk to us about the stimulus and look it’s deposited. But I did tell H&R Block I think I’m going to call Channel 7 and let them know,” she said with a chuckle.

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