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CBS 58 Special Report: Stimulus check problems

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – Distributing money to people in need should be basic for the government, but the rollout of stimulus checks has been problematic. Payments have been sent to banks used by tax preparers on behalf of their clients. Those clients fear their money will be delayed.

“I was shocked and disappointed,” said North Carolina resident Felicia Reaves.

She told CBS 58 Investigates how the IRS Get My Payment website showed her stimulus check going to her tax preparer's bank account two weeks ago, an account held by MetaBank. She wrote to us after seeing our story on the topic.

“I just moved into a brand new house, so I was expecting that money to be in my bank account,” said Reaves.

MetaBank told us it was sending the payments back to the IRS, but when Reaves checked the IRS again, it showed her deposit going once again to MetaBank. Reaves shared her disappointment.

“Because of the large amount of money and the amount of people the money is going out to, there’s going to be some complications,” said Reaves.

A MetaBank spokesperson said this shouldn’t have happened again. In a statement the bank said:

“We were very concerned to learn over the weekend that the messaging on the Get My Payment website is now telling customers their payments are scheduled to be distributed back to the same temporary refund transfer accounts at the end of this week (April 24), with no option to take any action. This is NOT the direction that the IRS has given us. We believe the messaging was posted in error and we have communicated as such to the IRS.

We, along with other banks in the industry, are trying to get clarification from the IRS, and requesting changes are made to this update as soon as possible. We will update our customers and partners as soon as we get clarification from the IRS.”

CBS 58 Investigates reached out to the IRS, but a spokesperson declined to answer questions, instead referring us to the IRS frequently asked questions page. At the time, (the week of April 20th) this topic wasn’t quite addressed, but the IRS has since added this question and answer:

When some taxpayers file their tax return, they may choose an option available from their tax preparer or software provider to help them pay their fees, get their refund more quickly or even load the refund onto a direct debit card.  This group of different products is referred to as refund settlement products. In these situations, taxpayers may:

  • Use a banking product to help them complete the tax filing transaction, sometimes referred to as a Refund Anticipation Loan (RAL) or a Refund Anticipation Check (RAC).
  • Choose to have their tax refund loaded onto a debit card provided by a variety of groups in the tax and financial communities.  

When you filed your tax return, if you chose a refund settlement product for direct deposit purposes, you may have received a prepaid debit card. In some cases, your Economic Impact Payment may have been directed to the bank account associated with the refund settlement product or prepaid debit card. 

If the refund settlement product or the associated account is closed or no longer active, the bank is required to reject the deposit and return it to the IRS. The “Get My Payment” app will be updated once the returned payment to the IRS is processed. Timing of this process depends on several variables, including when and how the payments are rejected and returned to the IRS, when “Get My Payment” updates, and when taxpayers check the tool. 

Once the returned payment is processed by the IRS, the payment will automatically be mailed to the address on the 2019 or 2018 tax return, or the address on file with the U.S. Postal Service – whichever is more current, and the status in Get My Payment will update accordingly. 

The IRS also noted that there was a reporting error that started showing up in recent days on Get My Payment, which inaccurately indicated rejected payments were being sent back to the same taxpayer account a second time. They are actually being mailed to the taxpayers. The IRS has quickly taken steps to correct this reporting error. Get My Payment will be updated starting Tuesday, April 21 to reflect that the taxpayer’s payment has actually been mailed; not rerouted to a closed bank account.

“We threw the gauntlet down and said we want you to get the payments to people,” said U.S. Representative Gwen Moore (D-Milwaukee).

Moore sits on the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees the IRS. The IRS’ budget has been cut 20 percent over a decade, and Moore said she’s aware of problems at the agency.

“We’ve had several hearings where the department has talked about the woeful inadequacy of every single department of the IRS,” said Moore.

Still, Moore said the IRS is the agency most able to process these economic stimulus payments. For people like Reaves though, every snag along the way has sapped her patience.

“I wasn’t expecting to have any problems getting the stimulus check, the emergency money, especially because it’s an emergency,” said Reaves.

CBS 58 Investigates reached out to other banks who had the same issue. Republic Bank in Kentucky said it took the stimulus payments and cut checks directly to the people who were supposed to receive them.

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Chris 6 days ago
I was put on child support in Feb of this year and a couple months later I got a letter saying that I owed back chil support for a whole year which was around 7 grand and the IRS website said I was gonna receive a stimulus check but I got a letter last week sayen my stimulus check was sent to to childsupport which I don't think is fair bcuz they didn't tell me I owed back child support untill after I was put on child support I couldn't pay something that I wasn't on at the time but since Feb of this year they take 150 every week out of my paycheck would there be any chance child support sends it back to me bcuz as far as I knew my back payments wasn't sent to the treasurer department yet could it have been a mistake that they took my stimulus check
Douglas 9 days ago
trying to cash my paper check and the bank denied it.; so thanks
Mark 11 days ago
Thanks for the stimulus check now I owe $1200 less...
Mark 11 days ago
If u owe child support they will take it.. I got a letter from the treasury dept saying mine was intercepted...
james9765 Mark 9 days ago
i never received a letter and the treasury offset department said nothing was being held but i still haven’t received it
Mark 11 days ago
Child support arrears took mine ...
GeorgeS 13 days ago
Here is a number for you to contact the IRS and a link about it 800-919-9835. I had to call three times before I was offered to talk to a person instead of the recorded messages. But I got through and talked to someone about mine.

https://fox6now.com/2020/05/20/wheres-my-stimulus-check-irs-adds-phone-operators-to-answer-relief-payment-questions/

If you think owe debt like child support or for another reason here is a number to find out 800-304-3107.
GeorgeS GeorgeS 13 days ago
The second phone number will tell you if your payment was offset because of debt on your account.
JSins GeorgeS 13 days ago
What number options did you press to get through to someone?

I've been trying and can't get through to a live person.

I press 1 for english then it's a 1 minute 40 second speech then says stay on line for more help.

Then press buttons for more options.

I do 1. 1. 1 and it always says it can't help me and hangs up.
GeorgeS JSins 13 days ago
When I got where is said stay on line to talk to someone I just waited. It took about 15 minutes for someone to get to me. That was about 10 am EST. Like I said I had to call three times before I got the wait for someone message. All the other times I just got recorded messages with no option to talk to anyone.
Jay 14 days ago
Still nothing, I know it has got to be something that will be figured out. It just blows my mind thatas many of us are having the same problem,Istill can't find even the question let alone an answer.Does anyone have anything new or even a new idea or possibility ?
Jerry 14 days ago
Has anyone with this problem recieved any money yet
JSins Jerry 14 days ago
Not me. Irs.gov still says deposit was supposed to happen on May 6th
Andrew 15 days ago
My Stimulus check was, (according to the IRS,) supposed to have been deposited into my account on April 29, and still nothing yet. And the government calls this, "help"? I guess this is one reason why we should call ourselves, "Proud Americans." We depend on a system that is more screwed up than the country as a whole is....People are depending and trusting our government to keep their word, and because they fail to do so, we and our families suffer behind the fake pandemic of COVID-19.
To those responsible, to our wonderful government, THANKS A BUTTLOAD, CHET!!!!
Lee 16 days ago
Irs said my stimulus check was mailed April 24 as of today I still haven't received my stimulus check or the letter bout to lose everything
Jerry 17 days ago
I also received a letter from the treasury dep. They said my money was deposited april 29th stii no money
David 17 days ago
UPDATE: well I finally reached a live person at IRS and as I thought child support intercepted my stimulus check for arrears owed.
JSins David 17 days ago
Its says on irs.gov they do not take money for child support arrears.

Q42. I heard that past-due child support can be taken from the EIP, but can other debt collectors get access to this money? (updated May 15, 2020)

A42: The CARES Act limits offsets of Economic Impact Payments to past-due child support. No other Federal or state debts that normally offset your tax refunds will reduce the EIP. Nevertheless, tax refunds paid under the Internal Revenue Code, including the Economic Impact Payment, are not protected from garnishment by creditors once the proceeds are deposited into an individual’s bank account.

https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment-frequently-asked-questions#locked
JSins David 17 days ago
How did you get a live person though? What options did you choose to get one?
Jay 17 days ago
mine says the 30th of april and yet to be able to find anything other than this
And it still does not even touch on all of our issues. I bank with Chime and that was like talking to a brick wall. They have recieved nothing the and the IRS won't let you even talk to a human being about it . just referto the website that does not even acknowledge our problem - I don't even have a letter yet.I know my info is correct. Iam a disabledveteran and I get paid every month to that account buy the treasury.There is still a day or two window that we could get paid in but If not by thursday or friday I am going to assume we are the mess up that always happens some how . Just this time we are it, the disabled and pensioned soldiers and SSI recipients of America, but sure as hell not the ceiling income and below down to us non - clanmails income and non- filers. SNAFU, I'm just goinin to chalk it up to one day it will come when an andit happens and the IRS tells me dowe them 1200.00 or something but I'm ok because I have a debit account of 1200-00 with them LOL.Hope all of you find the answers you need and the payment you are waiting for. Me ... I can't miss what I never had
AshleyG1986 17 days ago
SO I CONTACTED FOX 31 PROBLEM SOLVERS HERE IN DENVER AND TOLD THEM OUR STORY... HOPEFULLY THEY HELP
AshleyG1986 18 days ago
IM GOING TO CONTACT THE NEWS HERE IN DENVER AND LET THEM KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON... I'LL LET YOU GUYS KNOW IF THEY CAN HELP.
Druzell 18 days ago
I from SACRAMENTO Ca, and I have been waiting for my DD money since April 29th, and still have nothing, and I still haven't received a letter from the IRS, and I didn't make one mistake with my information online, because I triple check it before I submitted my information.
AliciaMoritz 18 days ago
I have been waiting since April 29th for my scheduled deposit as of May 17th nothing, who do you ask there is no one to call, Has anyone been able to find out anything, this is total Bull. Someone help
Mark 18 days ago
Should contact the news this is bullshit even contact the governor..
David 18 days ago
maybe we should take this to the news seeing how theres no way to reach irs
David 18 days ago
Im in the same boat April 29th … Does anyone have Card.com Bancorp bank? that's where I sent my DD they keep giving me the run around that they are taking them first come first serve in batches. Stating they received an overwhelming amount of deposits but rest assure once we get it we will post immediately. This is BS
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