Stimulus check sent to the wrong account? Here’s what to do.


More than 80 billion people are eagerly waiting for their stimulus checks to beat the financial blues from which they are suffering due to the deadly economic impact of the pandemic. Thanks to the CARES Act, qualifying Americans will receive $1200 plus $500 for their dependent children.

Many Americans have already received stimulus checks without any glitch. However, some people have tweeted the IRS that they have not yet received any stimulus check. When those people tried to track their payout through the online portal Get My Payment (launched by the IRS itself), they were shocked to see that the IRS has sent their stimulus checks to bank accounts they don’t recognize. When they entered their contact information in the online portal, they found that the last four digits of the displayed bank accounts didn’t match with theirs.

The money has either gone to someone else or a closed bank account or an old bank account. Now, what to do.

Are you too one of them? Has something of this sort happened with you? If so, then this must have been heartbreaking news for you. You must have planned so many things to do with your paycheck. Maybe you had planned to settle your debt. Or, maybe you had planned to buy the necessary things for your family. This sudden mishap may have spoiled your mood and broken your heart completely.

However, the IRS says all is not lost. You can take a few steps to get back your stimulus checks. Here are some of them.

Call the financial institution to find out the status of the stimulus paycheck:

The IRS is using the tax information given in your 2019 tax return. If you have not filed the 2019 tax return due to the pandemic, then the IRS is using the bank details given in your 2018 income tax return.

Now, problems are happening in 3 scenarios.

  1. You have chosen a prepaid debit card to receive your last income tax refund. You have not used the card after spending the refund.
  2. You have closed the bank account mentioned in your income tax return.
  3. A tax preparer submitted your last income tax return on your behalf. You didn’t wait for the IRS to credit your tax refund in your bank account. You opted for a refund check.

If your account has been closed or is inactive right now, then the bank will reject and return the stimulus check to the IRS. You have to contact the bank once to find out the status of the stimulus check.

Once the bank confirms that they have returned the stimulus check, you should log in to the Get My Payment portal and inform the IRS about it. The IRS will make arrangements to send you the returned stimulus check. You have to wait for a few more days to receive the check finally.

Contact the USPS and update your current address:

The IRS will mail your returned stimulus check to the address mentioned in your previous income tax return. The IRS will update it in the Get My Payment portal.

What? You don’t live there anymore? Well, have you made the necessary arrangements so that all your mails are forwarded to your new address? If not, then do it fast. You can do it online.

The IRS sends stimulus checks to the current address of the taxpayer. If the address filed with the U.S Postal Service is more current than the one mentioned in your income tax return, then they will send your check to that address.

Open the IRS2Go app:

What if the unthinkable has happened? What if your stimulus check has been sent to another person’s bank account? In that case, you should inform the IRS about it through the IRS2GO mobile app. You can also send a letter explaining the entire matter to the IRS directly. One more important point. If you need to change the bank account details, try to do it before they have processed your payments. Once, the check is on the way, you can’t change the account information.

Timing matters

The IRS has started updating the mailed payment status of the rejected checks in the Get My Payment app from April 15, 2020. Usually, they update their status once every day. If you haven’t yet checked the status, then it’s important to do it now.


Don’t blame the IRS if they have sent your stimulus check to a closed or old bank account. The IRS is working hard to send stimulus checks to millions of people on time. They are fetching information from your last filed income tax return. Now, if you have closed your bank account after that, then how would the IRS know about it? All of us are already going through a tough time. Let’s stop the blame game and cooperate with the IRS to solve the issue as soon as we can. Just understand one fact that the IRS has no intention of snatching your stimulus check. Have patience and take the aforementioned steps mentioned in this article. Your money will soon be on your way.

Stacy B. Miller is a writer, blogger, and a content marketing enthusiast. Her blog vents out her opinions on debt, money and financial issues. Her articles have been published in various top-notch websites and she plans to write many more for her readers. You can connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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