TurboTax and H&R Block customers have been left waiting for their much-needed $600 COVID-19 stimulus checks after the funds were sent to the middleman services instead of directly into the bank accounts of American taxpayers.
The Internal Revenue Service announced last week that the second round of stimulus checks would start reaching Americans from January 4, providing some relief for the millions who have found themselves unemployed or in financial difficulties due to the pandemic.
But many customers of popular online tax preparation services Turbo Tax and H&R Block are facing delays in getting the payments because the funds have been sent to the companies first who must then send them on to the individuals – or back to the IRS.
Many desperate taxpayers turned to social media hitting out the IRS and the two companies and questioning when they will get their hands on the much-needed money.
The fiasco comes after the rollout of the first round of $1,200 stimulus checks was riddled with delays and problems back in April with the IRS’s online tool crashing within hours of its launch, administrative blunders sending checks to people who had been dead for years, and thousands in dire need initially told they weren’t eligible for a dime.
A direct deposit statement shows a $600 credit for an individual in San Diego, California. TurboTax and H&R Block customers have been left waiting for their much-needed $600 COVID-19 stimulus checks
Customers of popular online tax preparation services Turbo Tax and H&R Block are facing delays because the funds have been sent to the companies first who must then send it on to the individuals – or have to return it to the IRS
Memes began circulating on social media Tuesday hitting out at the IRS as well as the likes of TurboTax and H&R Block over the delays in getting the checks.
‘Me, just trying to be patient about my stimulus and then reading about the TurboTax debacle…,’ one person wrote alongside a meme reading ‘are you kidding me?’
Another shared a meme of someone dangling money over people on a fishing hook and snatching it away when they reached for it.
‘American citizens: Please can we just get our damn stimulus money,’ they wrote.
‘The IRS, TurboTax and H&R Block:’
Another person fumed: ‘”The government can be trusted. They should have more power and more regulating authority.” @USTreasury and/or IRS wrongly send thousands of #stimulus deposits to TurboTax and HR Block accounts.
‘Nobody notices until it’s too late. We really do get the leaders we deserve.’
Another questioned where their funds were: ‘I just read that people who filed turbo tax are having issues receiving their second stimulus??? Anyone????
‘I used turbo tax and mine is NOWHERE TO BE FOUND.’
Some H&R Block customers reported logging on to the IRS Get My Payment tracking tool to find the money had been deposited into an account number that is not theirs.
H&R Block issued a statement on Twitter Monday telling customers that the account they were seeing in the IRS portal was likely to be the temporary account where their tax refund was first sent.
Memes began circulating on social media hitting out at the IRS as well as the likes of TurboTax and H&R Block over the delays in getting the checks
To make matters more confusing, some of the affected customers said on social media they had received the $1,200 stimulus back in April into their correct bank account
When customers of H&R Block are eligible for a tax refund, they can opt to receive it by a Refund Transfer option.
The IRS then sends the refund to a temporary account from which tax preparation fees are deducted and the remainder is sent on to the customer by their chosen payment method.
H&R Block explained that people who used this option in 2019 may have had the funds sent to that temporary account first.
Meanwhile, people who received their tax refund checks directly to their bank account got their stimulus checks to their account number.
‘The IRS Get My Payment website may display an account number you don’t recognize. If you took a Refund Transfer, it may be reflecting that account number. Check your 2019 return to confirm,’ the company said.
H&R Block sought to reassure customers that they are investigating why this had happened.
Some H&R Block customers reported logging on to the IRS Get My Payment tracking tool to find the money has been deposited into an account number that is not theirs
H&R Block issued a statement on Twitter Monday telling customers that the account they are seeing in the IRS portal is likely to be the temporary account where their tax refund was first sent
To make matters more confusing, some of the affected customers said on social media they had received the $1,200 stimulus back in April into their correct bank account.
‘I thought someone stole my identity. I know this may not be [H&R Block’s] fault but it’s curious how my first stimulus had no issues,’ one person tweeted.
‘This is absolutely absurd that my family received the first stimulus directly into our checking. Now its been sent to hr block,’ added another.
H&R Block promised that the money would be transfered to customers by the end of the day via the same method they used to get their last tax refund.
‘But don’t worry – we have sent these payments on to the method you chose for Refund Transfer: direct deposit, check or Emerald Card,’ the company said.
‘The money should be there by the end of the day.’
However many customers fumed on social media Tuesday that they still hadn’t received the payments.
Meanwhile, Turbo Tax told customers in a Twitter thread Tuesday that the IRS has sent some payments to accounts that are now closed or inactive and that, by law, these funds must then be returned to the IRS.
Turbo Tax told customers in a Twitter thread Tuesday that the IRS has sent some payments to accounts that are now closed or inactive
By law, these funds must then be returned to the IRS – causing more delays to customers
‘The IRS announced yesterday that due to the speed at which they issued this second round of payments, they sent some payments to an account that may be closed or no longer active,’ the company said.
‘By law, in these cases the financial institution must return the payment to the IRS.’
These payments must be returned to the IRS where the agency can then resend them directly to the person.
The company acknowledged that this will fuel further delays in reaching Americans relying on the financial boost.
‘Unfortunately, the IRS has also stated that, while they are exploring options to correct these payments, this may cause a delay in stimulus payments for some,’ TurboTax said.
The company added that the fault lies with the IRS which is ‘the sole party with the ability to determine eligibility and distribute stimulus payments.’
The IRS said in a press release Tuesday that payments will continue through mid-January.
‘Direct deposit payments are being made first to those that have valid routing and account information on file for direct deposit purposes,’ it read.
‘Because of the speed at which IRS issued this second round of payments, some payments may have been sent to an account that may be closed or no longer active.’
The federal stimulus relief has been plagued with issues since the first round was launched in April
The IRS said that anyone who has not received their payment by the time they file their 2020 tax return, can claim it on their tax return.
The federal stimulus relief has been plagued with issues since the first round was launched in April.
The IRS Get My Payment portal launched on April 15 and within hours had gone into meltdown.
The system crashed and frustrated taxpayers had flooded social media with complaints of error messages saying the system couldn’t find any of their details.
Several complained of getting a message saying: ‘Payment Status Not Available. According to information that we have on file, we cannot determine your eligibility for a payment at this time.’
The message sparked concerns that some people are being missed out of the stimulus package or may have been incorrectly deemed ineligible.
Parents of young children reported missing out on the $500 check for their dependent children.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – with an unlikely ally in Donald Trump – has been calling for checks to be increased from $600 to $2,000
Others told how the payments were sent to the wrong bank accounts – often accounts that didn’t even belong to them.
Yet, while many despaired at their accounts sitting empty, bereaved relatives were traumatized by blunders that meant checks were sent to people who have been dead for years.
One month after launch, 20 million eligible taxpayers were still waiting for the funds.
The second check is half the value of the first and Democrats led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – with an unlikely ally in Donald Trump – has been calling for checks to be increased from $600 to $2,000.
But the efforts have fallen short with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday blocking the Democrats’ standalone bill to send the checks to Americans.