What to Do If Your Stimulus Check Was Deposited Into the Wrong Bank Account

Congress passed the $1.9 trillion relief package last week, including the stimulus payments which will see individuals earning $75,000 (or couples earning $150,000) or less receiving $1,400 each, while couples with four children can receive $5,600.

People with direct deposit accounts with the IRS, from tax returns or previous stimulus payments, for example, are more likely to receive their stimulus checks more quickly.

While some Americans have already received their stimulus checks, customers of certain banks will have to wait until Wednesday, March 17, to receive their $1,400.

However, there may be another reason why some people aren't receiving their stimulus checks as quickly as they think they should.

ATM
A banking customer withdraws money from a ATM machine in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Some Americans are seeing the wrong bank account number when checking the status of their stimulus checks. Robert Alexander/Getty

There are reports of some people seeing the wrong bank account number on the IRS website when checking their payment status, and although this may be very worrying to see, it doesn't mean that the money is lost.

The IRS gets your bank account information from either your 2019 tax return, the information you entered on your non-filer registration in 2020, the information you entered on the Get My Payment tool before December 22, 2020, or through a federal agency that provides you benefits, including the Social Security Administration, Veteran Affairs, or the Railroad Retirement Board.

According to the IRS, if the bank information is invalid or the account has been closed, the bank will return the money to the IRS and the IRS will then mail the money by check to the address it has on file.

The IRS also says you can't change your bank information already on file with the IRS for your first or second Economic Impact Payment and the website says: "Don't call the IRS, our phone assistors won't be able to change your bank information, either."

If your address is listed incorrectly, the IRS says that the easiest way to update your address information is to file your 2020 tax return with your current address, if you have not done so already. The quickest way to do this is to file it electronically.

The IRS says that if the payment cannot be delivered for any reason, it will be returned to the IRS, and you will have to get the payment reissued. To have the payment reissued, set up a direct deposit with Get My Payment. Once the payment is returned to the IRS, your payment status will be updated to "Need More Information."

Then, you will be able to choose to receive a direct deposit to a bank account, a prepaid debit card, or an alternative financial product that has a routing and account number associated with it.