HOUSTON - Many people are complaining on social media that the IRS "Get My Payment" tool says it direct deposited their stimulus checks, but the money is not in their bank accounts.
What's going on here? Stimulus checks are supposed to rescue families who are desperate to pay bills. Instead some say delays are causing more stress.
"I have two kids and I was laid off at the beginning of last year. I just started working again in December," a Houston mother told us, wanting to stay anonymous.
She's one of many people who have complained on social media sites that the IRS app reports their stimulus checks were direct deposited into their bank accounts on March 17, but the money still has not hit their bank accounts.
"I was hoping to catch up on bills and pay my rent up. Because it's hard, times are hard right now," said the woman.
Wells Fargo and Chase were mentioned in many of the social media posts, so we asked the banks about it.
A Wells Fargo statement reads, "We know the importance of the stimulus funds to our customers, and Wells Fargo is making the stimulus funds available immediately when they are made available to us. Wells Fargo has processed all of the direct deposits we received from the IRS and U.S. Treasury for stimulus payments to date. If the payments were received for closed accounts or accounts with invalid account numbers, we are following U.S. Treasury guidelines and returning those stimulus payments to the U.S. Treasury. They may redirect funds to the customer via check. We are asking customers to visit the IRS' Get My Payment tool for the latest information."
Chase sent a similar statement: "We have deposited all electronic stimulus payments received so far. When we receive the money from the IRS, we'll deposit it in our eligible customers' accounts. This IRS site has some good information. Also, Chase customers can check their transactions on the Chase Mobile app and chase.com. We recommend customers set up an account alert to tell them when deposits post to their account."
The Automated Clearing House Network Administration explained the delay reflects the usual payment process, which can take a few days, writing, "Banks and credit unions will make funds from direct deposits available to their customers by the same day that they receive the funds from the IRS."
The banks are pointing customers back to the IRS.
We reached out to the IRS, but we haven't heard back yet.
"The fact that we can't get a clear answer from anybody is just devastating right now," said the woman.
The IRS website does state that there can be time between when the IRS issues a refund and when a bank posts it to a bank account.
People who don't receive a stimulus check, or the full amount expected, can claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on their tax returns.
Some people have also started to complain about delays receiving tax refunds this year.
IRS data shows nearly 7.6 million filed returns haven't been processed yet, which is more than three times the amount for the same period in 2019.
After last year's shutdown extended tax filing deadline, and having to process stimulus checks, the IRS website says, "COVID-19 continues to cause delays in some of our services."
The IRS website lists these other common reasons for a delay for refunds:
- errors or incomplete tax returns,
- if you're a victim of identity theft and someone filed a return in your name,
- or if you claim the Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit.
So what can you do to try to limit delays? Check your return for accuracy before you file and file electronically. You can also check the information in your IRS file.