IRS Sends 15,000 Stimulus Checks To The Wrong Bank Accounts

That economic stimulus check you were expecting may have accidentally stimulated your neighbor’s bank account. Newsday is reporting that 15,000 checks tumbled astray thanks to an IRS “computer programming glitch.”

One local taxpayer, who asked not to be identified, reported that he had discovered an unexpected deposit of $1,800 in his bank account. He said a review of his bank records revealed that it was a deposit from the IRS bearing another taxpayer’s Social Security number. He said he contacted the IRS and was told by an agent that the deposit was one of 15,000 misrouted checks sent out incorrectly as a result of a computer programming glitch.

[Internal Revenue Service spokesman Kevin McKeon] said he could not confirm that figure or that a computer problem was responsible.

The government will want its cash back, so don’t giddily spend any unexpected stimulus money. Paper checks can be mailed back to the IRS, while those with direct deposit should report the error to their bank.

IRS: Some stimulus checks sent to wrong accounts [Newsday]
(Photo: Joe Shlabotnik)


Edit Your Comment

  1. IRS = Internal Revenue Sucks

  2. myfakename says:

    Shock and Awe.


  3. I’ll be checking my bank account now..

  4. MaxSmart32 says:

    This is close to what happened to me – I opened my account in Florida originally, and now live in Rhode Island. The IRS sent my check to an account with a Florida Routing number and a Rhode Island account number, which, oops, too bad, doesn’t exsist because my account has a RHODE ISLAND Routing number…

    Three hours on the phone with the IRS and BoA later, I find out that I have to wait for a paper check…

    Talk about aggrivation!

  5. Myotheralt says:

    The IRS took my tax return AND the economic stimulus checks and started paying off bills with them. $450 to the Star card (like a target credit card but for military shopping malls) and about $1100 to correct a $2000 over payment on my GI bill.

    I was going to use the money to get something I really needed, like 1st months rent while I get a new job!

  6. heavylee-again says:

    According to the IRS’ schedule, I should have gotten my stimulus money direct-deposited no later than yesterday. I haven’t gotten my money (or someone else’s).

  7. dohtem says:

    I feel sorry for those that actually the spend money the get by accident.

  8. @NigerianScammer: Immediately…

  9. heavylee-again says:

    @dohtem: You feel sorry for people who spent ‘free’ money, that they weren’t expecting, and knew that it rightfully didn’t belong to them?

  10. iambeaker says:

    Does anybody know what to do if they have not recieved their stimulus check? I checked and there is nothing their in the FAQ’s…. Thanks!!!!

  11. HooFoot says:

    My father asked me why I didn’t sign up for direct deposit on my tax return. I told him that I didn’t trust the IRS enough not to screw something up with my bank account.

    Glad I opted for the paper check.

  12. _Puck says:

    I received an email yesterday from TurboTax telling me why my rebate wasn’t direct deposited last week as I anticipated. When I did my taxes, I opted to have the processing fees deducted from the total refund so I didn’t have to pay anything at that time.

    For some reason due to that, the IRS is not direct depositing anyone would had those processing fees deducted and instead is sending paper checks.

  13. agb2000 says:

    @heavylee-again: What about the phrase “by accident” in dohtem’s comment means knowingly spending other people’s money? You’re an unsympathetic jerk.

  14. hills says:

    Try calling their rebate check hotline on Monday (I know I will!)….


  15. littlemoose says:

    I haz a mailbox… but iz not bukkit… nooooooo!

  16. crabbyman6 says:

    So wait, this money is not only being deposited in the wrong person’s account, but bears the other person’s social security number? Insult + Injury = IRS

    @_Puck: hmmm, that’s interesting, I did the same thing and haven’t gotten my rebate back yet but didn’t receive an email. Thanks for the info!

  17. azntg says:

    If we experienced a “computer programming glitch” while sending money to the IRS, we get slapped with penalties and a nominal interest, if not more if you were previously delinquent.

    The IRS experiences a “computer programming glitch” while sending money to us, it’s an “Eh… just wait another two months while we print out the paper checks.” The government really hates competition, doesn’t it?

  18. dragonfire81 says:

    “…accidentally stimulated”

    For some reason that really made me laugh, like a term that would refer to a bedroom disaster of epic proportions.

  19. katra says:

    Is anyone actually surprised? When I first heard that the stimulus checks would be rolling out earlier than expected due to a new computer system, all I could do was ask: “Now? They really think now is the time to test drive their new system?”

  20. fjordtjie says:

    …and that’s why you shouldn’t trust the government with money!

  21. hellinmyeyes says:

    I didn’t get mines either. I figure maybe they’ll mail me a check, but it said on their Web site essentially don’t call them unless it’s been missing for more than one month. I may call them anyway. I just have a feeling they’re getting a LOT of calls from not-so-knowledgeable types with all sorts of bizarre questions.

  22. looney82 says:

    @myotheralt: see, that’s why you do the smart thing and stay in the military until retirement. or until you get killed on your 3rd or 4th deployment. that way you don’t have to use your stimulus check for 1st months rent. who needs a new place when they’re busy being deployed? thank god i just re-upped for another 6 years. (by the way, i do really love my job, but sometimes you just can’t stand the army….)

  23. rickhamilton620 says:

    Wow, that sucks but then again are we really that surprised? It is after all, the IRS.

    I’m sorry but that is a kickass mailbox. :P

  24. heavylee-again says:

    @agb2000: So if $600-$1200 mysteriously appeared in one’s bank account, with someone else’s SSN on the deposit’s notes, this wouldn’t throw a flag in a rational person’s mind?

    Jerk? nah. Unsympathetic? absolutely.

  25. Rachael says:


    I think there’s a lot of ignorance regarding the way in which these stimulus checks work, unfortunately. Many people don’t realize that they may not receive the full amount. I’ve read other accounts on the internet from people who were planning on paying rent with the $600— only to discover they received $400 based upon what they paid. Many are expecting more. So: if more mysteriously disappeared in a bank account, I’m sure some wouldn’t chalk it up to a mistake so much as just “oh, extra money- OK!”

    Not that ignorance spares them any ridicule, but I don’t think it’s necessarily that they’ve received the money, knew what had happened, and still didn’t care.

  26. m4ximusprim3 says:

    @heavylee-again: me too. hopefully my money and SSN didn’t land in someone elses bank account. Cause you know uncle sam doesn’t give a shit.

  27. squikysquiken says:

    @_Puck: It’s because the IRS only has the dummy account information of the bank that processed your advance and forwarded your refund. The IRS doesn’t have your own bank account information. It works that way: Bank X opens a dummy account, and Turbo Tax instruct the IRS to direct deposit there. Bank X pays TurboTax $60. When the direct deposit comes along, they forward it to you keeping $60 + their fee and close the account.

    Blame bank X and turbotax for that crap. They don’t disclose shit and just blame the IRS because it’s easier.

    Also, you got robbed using that service. The bank that offers this service through Intuit charges something like $30 to basically advance you $60 (TurboTax fee) for one or two week.

  28. Joe S Chmo says:

    If you do get someone else’s funds and report it to your bank, also be sure to watch your account closely. The money may come out a second time down the road because they may not have accounted for you reporting it the first time.

  29. datruesurfer says:

    One word: FAIL

  30. puka_pai says:

    I wouldn’t report it. Don’t spend it, but let them come after it to fix it. Otherwise, like MRsteve says, you may end up having it taken out twice. And then it will take months before the IRS fixes it — your bank will pass the buck to them, most likely.

  31. ambimom says:

    I am still waiting for my stimulus check….I guess mine went to someone else.

  32. blkhrt1 says:

    The thing that gets me is that, you may have used TurboTax to get what’s called a “RAL” or “Refund Anticipation Loan”. TurboTax uses Santa Barbara Bank & Trust for their processing. Since the IRS doesn’t have YOUR account information, just the one at SBBT, you get paper checks. Which basically means, I’m not getting one until August…if I’m lucky. IRS FTW.

  33. Novaload says:

    If you go to the IRS web site, and hunt around, you can log in for a status report, based on your SSN, filing status (married jointly etc) and # of dependents/people deductions. I got “no information” and the note that the info is only a week into the future. We should have already gotten ours based on our SSN and direct deposit history and no bank or other changes, but nothing yet and no info. I may be calling them too. We had to pay a slight amount this year, around $30, first time in ages, but I don’t think that would have changed anything.
    There really isn’t much info on the process provided by the IRS anywhere.

  34. tahamaki says:

    I’m guessing mine went to someone else too. It should have been DD’d “no later than May 9” according to the IRS, but unfortunately, those idiots don’t even appear to have sent mine yet.

  35. antivisitor says:

    “Computer programming glitch” always means “programmer’s oversight.” Sucks to be that guy, but still.

  36. planetdaddy says:

    Got my stimulus check last week. Direct deposited no problems.

  37. B says:

    @heavylee-again: There’s no SSN in the deposit notes. So how would I know if the $600 that was deposited in my account is really mine or somebody else’s? Now, if I got two, then I would know something strange is happening.

  38. heavylee-again says:

    He said a review of his bank records revealed that it was a deposit from the IRS bearing another taxpayer’s Social Security number.

  39. wearly1977 says:

    My SS end in 99 and I should have gotten mine 5/16 but nothing.. screw the IRS

  40. NotATool says:

    Got my stimulus check on time last week.

    Too bad my car chose to break down repeatedly.

    Looks like my stimulus is going to end up back in the local economy, just like W wanted.

  41. detraya says:

    i’m still waiting on mine.. should have been here the 16th

  42. Yeah…. I know about 5 people, including yours trully, that hasn’t seen SHIT.

  43. Rusted says:

    Been stimulating everyone else’s economy but no check in box.

  44. Illiterati says:

    Here’s the IRS “Where’s My Refund” page:

    Threw me a “no information” message even though the money should’ve gone out with the first batch. Supposedly getting $1,200, but we’ll see if it ever arrives. (Not that I would’ve opted into this whole scheme if given a choice, but that’s another thread.)

  45. thomas_callahan says:

    Mine should have gotten to my bank Friday according to the schedule — I figured maybe it won’t show up in the account until next business day but still nothing this morning. I filed electronically, on time, direct debited my payment (owed a little). I didn’t do a RAL, paid TurboTax separately — none of the things they say will delay things. Using my SSN and # of exemptions as shown in Turbo Tax the IRS web site has no info.

    Maybe they’re mailing a check because I owed and haven’t specifically authorized them to deposit anything to my account (although you’d think since I authorized them to debit they could just assume a deposit would be OK)?

    The $$ would really have come in handy today too — now I’m going to have to tap my LOC to pay a major bill then pay it back whenever the rebate comes through. So if they mail a check the week of July 4 by the time it gets here and clears my account (which I’m sure will take the maximum amount of time possible since it’s a large, out of state check) I’ll have paid $10-15 in interest.

    Guess my bank’s the one getting stimulated…

  46. luludc says:

    @Novaload: if you had to pay taxes (like i did), then you’re getting a paper check because they supposedly don’t have your account information. ick, right? the IRS was happy enough to use that MIA account info to dip in for their payment on april 15.

    so now i’m on standby until july. double ick.

  47. pete7919 says:

    Can anyone point to the IRS website where it talks about stimulus payments for those of us who didn’t receive refunds but made payments for our taxes this year? I see the comment above and a couple others that didn’t receive the direct deposit they were expecting, but I cannot find anything on the IRS website that says we will be getting paper checks for sure.

  48. Jbball says:

    No bad out of the millions of checks/transfers they’re doing.

  49. biff151 says:

    What should you do if you receive 2 checks?