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Wrong bank account for your third IRS stimulus check? Here’s what will happen

You’ll still get your stimulus funds, but it could take longer. Here’s what you need to know.

Wrong bank account for your third IRS stimulus check? Here’s what will happen
[Photo: Chronis Yan/Unsplash; Erik Mclean/Unsplash]
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Americans can breathe a huge sigh of relief: Today the third round of stimulus checks from the IRS will begin hitting people’s bank accounts. The checks are part of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which will see individuals get as much as $1,400 in a lump sum—the largest stimulus check yet. Taxpayers filing as married couples with dependents can expect even more.

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For people with direct deposit set up, the third stimulus checks will be sent directly into their bank accounts. As a matter of fact, you should check your bank account right now, because many have already reported receiving the deposit. The IRS will have the current bank details from most people who submitted a 2019 or 2020 tax return or from those who entered their bank details on their non-filer registration in 2020.

But there is some bad news: Some people are going to find that the IRS does not have the correct bank account information for them. Perhaps their old bank account was closed and they haven’t provided the IRS with new banking details. The bigger bummer? According to a new note posted yesterday on the IRS’s “Get My Payment” FAQ, the bank account information a person has on file with the IRS cannot be changed.

So what happens in this case?

The IRS says that if it sends your third stimulus check to the bank account it has on file for you and that account has been closed (or the bank account details are otherwise invalid), the bank will automatically return the funds to the IRS, at which point the agency will mail a physical check to you at the address they have on file for you.

This means you’ll still get your stimulus check, but it could be delayed by days or weeks as the IRS needs to get the money back from the bank first, and then the U.S. Postal Service has to do its snail mail thing to get you the funds.

About the author

Michael Grothaus is a novelist, journalist, and former screenwriter. His debut novel EPIPHANY JONES is out now from Orenda Books. You can read more about him at MichaelGrothaus.com

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