Millions of stimulus checks held up by IRS mistake should be received by early February, tax firms say

MILLIONS of stimulus checks held up by an Internal Revenue Service gaffe could arrive by early February.

The $600 relief packets were held up after a glitch sent them to closed or inactive bank accounts.

Taxpayers were forced to wait until the money bounced back.

But now teams of tax preparers who helped set up temporary accounts for the money say they are working with the IRS on the issue and the money should arrive in a matter of weeks.

A statement from the Service read: "The IRS regrets the inconvenience and greatly appreciates the assistance of our tax industry partners in helping accelerate a resolution of this issue."

The good news is the quick turnaround on the mistake means the money should come in, either in the form of a paper check or directly into your bank account, sooner than if hey had claimed them on their 2020 tax returns – the IRS's initial solution.

Jackson Hewitt and Republic Bank told customers theirs would be deposited by February 1.

Meanwhile, the IRS was blasted by some tax companies over the mistake.

Jackson Hewitt’s chief tax information officer, Max Hewitt wrote in a blog post: "We considered this chain of events absolutely unacceptable and worked tirelessly with the highest levels of the US Treasury Department, the IRS (including the IRS Commissioner), and other parts of the federal government to find a solution that ensured our customers would get what they were owed as quickly as possible."

And TaxAct said had the IRS followed its advice, the checks could have been sent out as soon as next week.

The wrote on Twitter: “Unfortunately, they chose their own path that does not as quickly help the people most affected by the pandemic."

And a spokesperson for Republic Bank said in a statement: “While we are disappointed the IRS was unable to correct its error sooner, it has accepted responsibility for the delay."

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