RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Millions of stimulus payments haven’t made it to those who need them.
And no one is sure when people will receive them with their deadline fast approaching in three days.
The U.S. Treasury Department is pushing out stimulus payments as fast as it can, but it is up against a Friday deadline.
Congress said on Jan. 15, the Treasury and IRS have to stop sending out payments and get ready for tax season.
Early on, the IRS ran into problems.
Its delivery was too quick and millions who used both H&R Block and Turbotax saw their money direct deposited to unknown bank accounts instead of their own bank accounts.
In an email to consumer investigator Steve Sbraccia, TurboTax blamed the IRS, saying millions of payments went to the wrong accounts.
Those temporary accounts are set by the companies to collect tax prep fees.
In trying to rectify the situation, Turbotax said it was working with the IRS and had started to deposit money to people’s accounts on Jan. 8.
An accountant said if you don’t get your payment by Friday, you’re going to have to wait.
“If a person has not received round 1 or round 2, the way they are going to be able to receive that credit is by filing a 2020 tax return,” said CPA Jake Keen.
That hasn’t made Congress happy.
It has been inundated with complaints and sent a letter to the IRS commissioner signed by 44 members of Congress.
The congressional letter said, “It’s vital for the IRS to do everything in its power to get people their money.”
Congress complained that the IRS solution of filing taxes electronically is not helpful to many Americans who don’t have the resources to file electronically.
In its letter, the members of Congress urged the IRS: To provide options to submit their direct deposit information directly to the IRS.”
However, linking the delivery of stimulus payments to tax returns will almost certainly create even more delays for people who are counting on those stimulus checks, because people need to first get their taxes done and then the IRS has to process those returns.
Regarding the payments sent to the wrong accounts by Turbotax and H&R Block, CBS 17 wanted to know what our Washington lawmakers are doing to help.
CBS 17 sent emails asking that question to a half dozen lawmakers last week.
Tuesday, Sen. Thom Tillis was the only one to reply.
His office said:
“The senator is aware of the error that occurred and has been informed that the IRS and these two companies are in close contact to fix any payments sent to wrong account by mistake.”
Tillis’ office assured CBS 17 it was keeping an eye on the situation, saying, “The senator says he will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that all eligible North Carolinians receive the Economic Impact Payment (EIP) they are entitled to.”
If the IRS doesn’t have direct deposit information for you, it’s probably going to send your payment via a prepaid debit card instead of a check.
The agency estimates 8 million debit cards will be sent out by Friday.
Be aware, that debit card doesn’t come in an official IRS or Treasury envelope so check your mail carefully.
If you get a Visa card with a letter from a bank saying it’s a stimulus payment – that is your money.
You can also continue to check on the status of your payment using the special tool on the IRS website.
Look for the box that says “get my payment” and click it to go to the tool.