Here's what to do if your stimulus check was sent the wrong account

  • Most stimulus checks will be deposited into bank accounts.
  • Payments sent to a closed account will bounce back to the IRS and be sent as a check or debit card.
  • If you don’t recognize the account number shown on “Get My Payment,” it could be tied to an existing debit card.
  • Calculate your third stimulus check payment »

The vast majority of stimulus checks are being sent directly to qualifying Americans’ bank accounts.

That includes people who listed direct-deposit information on their 2020 tax return because they got a refund (or 2019 tax return if 2020 hasn’t been processed yet); people who receive federal benefits through direct deposit; and people who used the IRS nonfilers tool to submit bank details last year. 

The IRS’s “Get My Payment” tool is the only place to check how and when your payment is going to be sent (note: not all of the payments have been processed yet; you might get a “status not available message” even if you’re eligible for a check).

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If the tool shows the wrong bank account, don’t panic. It’s most likely not fraud. If you’re eligible for a stimulus check, there are clear steps you can take to get it.

Here’s why you could be seeing an unfamiliar bank account number and what to do.

Why did my stimulus check get sent to the wrong bank account?

You closed a bank account

If the bank account you gave the IRS on your most recent tax return is now closed, the deposit will bounce back to the IRS and the agency will send you a paper check or prepaid debit card. At this time there’s no way to update your bank information unless the IRS can’t reach you by mailing address either.

You get federal benefits on a Direct Express card

Social Security retirement and disability beneficiaries, railroad retirees, and people who received veterans’ benefits in 2020 don’t need to do anything to get the third stimulus check. The IRS is working with those federal agencies to send the payments to beneficiaries the way they normally get paid, provided they haven’t filed a tax return.

If your typical method of payment is a Direct Express card, the “Get My Payment” tool will show a bank account number that’s associated with that card. You might not recognize it, but rest assured the money will be loaded onto your Direct Express card.

You use a TurboTax or H&R Block debit card to get your tax refund

If you filed taxes with H&R Block and opted to receive your refund on an Emerald Card, you should see the number associated with that card on the “Get My Payment” tool. The money will be accessible via your card once the payment is processed. Log into your MyBlock account for more information or call 1-866-353-1266 and enter the last four digits of the account number shown. Replacement cards are available.

If you filed taxes with TurboTax and opted to receive your refund on a Turbo Visa Debit Card, the account number you see in the “Get My Payment” tool should be associated with that. You can make purchases online or via the card. To request a replacement card, log into your account or call TurboTax’s partner bank Green Dot at 1-888-285-4169.

You used TurboTax’s or H&R Block’s refund transfer

During the last rollout of stimulus checks in January, the IRS erroneously sent stimulus payments to holding accounts at TurboTax’s and H&R Block’s partner banks. These accounts are used when a customer opts into refund transfer, meaning they give the company permission to take its fees out of their refund before sending the refund to their bank account.

Both TurboTax and H&R Block said they provided the IRS with the correct bank accounts for customers this time around, so the mishap shouldn’t happen again — but it’s not guaranteed.

In any case, if a payment bounces back to the IRS then it will be re-sent in the mail as a paper check or prepaid debit card.

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