BOSCOBEL - Many American’s found a new chunk of welcome change sitting in their bank accounts on Monday.
The second round of stimulus checks were approved in December as part of a $900 billion COVID relief bill with the first official day of deposits being Monday. They offer most Americans payments of up to $600 for themselves and their dependent children. This one time payment gives individuals $600, married couples who filed jointly $1,200 and families $600 for each eligible child under 17.
However, in the mix of some getting deposits and others not, the news broke that 15-20 million Economic Impact Payments were sent, once again, to tax preparers instead of taxpayers.
Westby Co-op Credit Union, which has branches in Richland Center shared on their social media that “an announcement has been shared with us that there may be 15-20 million Economic Impact Payments sent to tax preparers instead of taxpayers. For example, if you processed your 2019 taxes through H&R Block and received your payment directly from them, your second stimulus may have been sent to H&R Block instead of you.” The post went on to express “We do not have answers to your questions. The best information available to us at this time suggests that the IRS did not apply or did not correctly apply, a potential fix for the payments in round one of the economic impact payments that were sent to tax preparers.” They went on to instruct concerned citizens to wait to contact their financial institution or tax preparer as they are “not responsible for the error.”
WCCU along with numerous other financial institutions were inundated with calls early Monday morning as many were left wondering “Where’s my payment?”
As of Monday, the IRS web-tool allowing folks to view the status of their payments had opened up once again. However, shortly after 1:30 p.m. the site went down for maintenance-likely bogged down by millions of Americans checking the status of their checks. And some who checked their payment status prior received a message indicating the IRS did not have any information for them or they were not receiving a payment.
On December 30, Congress assigned a deadline for January 15 for the $600 payments to be deposited and finalized. After that date, those who qualified for the stimulus but did not receive it are able to claim their portion as a ‘recovery rebate credit’ when they file taxes this year.
According to cnet.com some common reasons for why you may experience a delay or no stimulus at all include moving or having a old address on file with the IRS, causing your bank to reject your direct deposit or the check going to the wrong mailbox, the IRS maybe unable to meet the January 15 deadline, you simply don’t qualify financially, the IRS may need additional information from you, your stimulus check was mistakenly garnished to cover unpaid debts like past due child support, the IRS doesn’t have your current banking information, your bank couldn’t process the direct deposit, a claimed dependent doesn’t qualify for a payment, you may have accidently thrown the envelope with your payment away, or you maybe the victim of a scam. These are all potential reasons for the delay or non appearance for your stimulus check. However, in most cases it is simply due to timing.
During the first round of checks in the spring, the IRS found it had a problem with checks being issued to the deceased. In an effort to prevent this, the second round of stimulus checks prohibits payments to anyone deceased before Jan. 1,2020. However it is still too early to see if the measures have been fully effective yet.
As there was with the first round of checks there are also income limits this round. Those who filed their 2019 federal taxes as a single taxpayer need to have had less than $75,000 in adjusted gross income to get the maximum payment. For heads of households, the limit is $112,500 and four couples the limit is $150,000. Payments are reduced by $5 per $100 adjusted gross income over the income limit.As for now, it seems that the payments or lack thereof are out of the hands of banks or tax preparers and the best option for those still awaiting payment is to check the IRS website at IRS.gov.