Calumet City man asks: Where’s my $1,200 COVID-19 stimulus check?

Glitches have left some taxpayers complaining about missing checks and other problems with the coronavirus relief program.

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Bernie Butler of Calumet City, pictured standing on an outdoor balcony in a city, says his $1,200 coronavirus payment was sent to a mystery account. He’s not alone in complaining about glitches with the payments.

Bernie Butler of Calumet City says his $1,200 coronavirus payment was sent to a mystery account. He’s not alone in complaining about glitches with the payments.

Provided

Bernie Butler was looking forward to his $1,200 “economic impact payment” check from the federal government for coronavirus relief.

“Everyone’s on Facebook or texting, saying, ‘I got mine, did you get yours?’ ” says Butler, a Calumet City resident who’s lost one of his two jobs during the statewide shutdown.

He got a shock when he checked the “Get My Payment” tool Wednesday on IRS.gov — it showed the payment was deposited but into an account he’s never seen before.

“I knew right away that’s not my account number,” he says.

People have complained on social media about glitches ranging from their payments being unexpectedly small or nonexistent to the deposits being sent to a mystery account. The Washington Post reported several million people who filed their taxes via H&R Block, TurboTax and other services were unable to get their coronavirus payments because the IRS didn’t have their direct-deposit information.

A Treasury Department spokeswoman says people who’ve used a tax-preparation service and opted for a refund-anticipation loan and debit card wouldn’t have a bank account on file with the IRS and should submit their most recent tax return and bank account details on the Get My Payment app.

Butler says his most recent tax refund was correctly deposited to his bank account, which means the IRS should have his correct information.

“I don’t know how they could have sent that to the right place, and then this goes to who knows where,” he says.

The IRS didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Adam Garber, director of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group’s Consumer Watchdog program, says people should document any glitch with the stimulus checks, including screenshots, and complain to the IRS and their congressional representatives and senators.

The coronavirus payments are part of the CARES Act passed by Congress to quickly get people money for food, housing and other bills. Most adults who qualify will get $1,200, though some could get less depending on a variety of factors, with those making $75,000 or less getting the full amount.

Each qualifying child 16 or younger in a household adds $500 to the payment.

Social Security recipients will automatically get their payment later this month.

Low-income and homeless people who don’t file a tax return can still get the coronavirus money but need to go on IRS.gov to the non-filers page.

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