H&R Block customers whose stimulus checks went to the wrong account last time don't have to worry about it happening again

  • The third stimulus check, worth $1,400, is already being deposited into bank accounts.
  • In January, stimulus payments were held up for some H&R Block and TurboTax customers.
  • However, both companies told Insider that the issue has been resolved this time around.
  • Read our review of H&R Block »

Another round of stimulus checks started landing in bank accounts on March 12.

Qualifying Americans who were able to include direct-deposit information on their latest tax return, either 2019 or 2020, are getting their payments first, the IRS said. Checks and debit cards will be mailed in the coming weeks. 

Direct deposit has always been the fastest delivery method for these payments. But during the rollout of the second stimulus checks in January, some customers of the tax-preparation companies H&R Block and TurboTax experienced delays even though they received their latest refund through direct deposit without issue. Many were confused to see an unfamiliar bank account listed on the “Get My Payment” tool when they checked the status of their stimulus payment. 

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Those issues were fixed within days, H&R Block CEO Jeff Jones told Insider on Monday, and payments reached the correct accounts shortly after. This time, H&R Block has resolved the bank account issue, Jones said, and it’s up to the IRS to deliver the payments.. 

stimulus check is a non-taxable cash payment sent to qualifying Americans by direct deposit, check, or debit card. The money can be used however you want and does not need to be repaid to the government — even if you get too much.

Other names for stimulus checks include Economic Impact Payments and the Recovery Rebate Credit.

Why stimulus checks were delayed last time

Millions of people file their taxes through online tax software providers every year. It can be simple, convenient, and more affordable than visiting a CPA (for many taxpayers, it’s free).

In an effort to extend that convenience, H&R Block, TurboTax, and a few others allow customers to opt into their refund transfer products. These let the customer pay for the company’s services through their tax refund for an additional fee, instead of via credit or debit card. To complete this process, the company sets up a holding account where the IRS can deposit the refund and the company can take its fee before sending the rest of the money to the taxpayer’s bank account.

During the rollout of the second stimulus check in January, the IRS erroneously sent payments to these holding accounts for many H&R Block and TurboTax customers. In most cases, the money was later redirected to taxpayers; others had to claim the credit on their tax returns. H&R Block was able to get the funds to customers within days despite the IRS’s mixup.

Jones said H&R Block has worked with the IRS to ensure the payments go to the customer’s “ultimate” bank account — the account where their refund ends up — as quickly as possible this time. The IRS is also labeling the payments as stimulus rather than refund, Jones added, which helps direct the money to the right location. 

In a statement to Insider, TurboTax said it has also resolved the issue and filers will get their payments sent to the correct bank account.

H&R Block also gives taxpayers the option to receive their refund on a debit card called the Emerald Card. Anyone who qualifies for the third stimulus check and had their most recent refund sent to an Emerald Card will get their money deposited directly onto the card. 

The nonpartisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy estimated that the stimulus checks would benefit more than 200 million adults and 80 million children. You need an adjusted gross income of $80,000 or less, or $160,000 if you’re married, to get at least a partial check.

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