According to the general press and the relevant IRS pages, if you e-filed your taxes for 2018 (or even 2019), and you used direct deposit, the stimulus checks will be deposited automatically into the known account.

What could be the reason that to fail? I used the IRS website today to find out when to expect my stimulus check, and it claimed they 'are missing the information to deposit it' automatically.

Now it could be that the IRS is really missing my deposit data, but I have been using the same account for the last ten years, filed my taxes for 2019 on Mar/11, and the IRS deducted today (that is, Apr/15), my tax payment for 2019. They were perfectly able to deduct it, it's gone from my account, but they 'don't have my account information'?

I never had a high opinion on the quality of their processes, but that is incomprehensible even for me. How can they use the account information and at the same time not have it?

  • 3
    The IRS site says that you need to have direct deposit information in your filing for 2019 or 2018. Apparently you didn't get a refund direct deposited in 2019; did you get a refund in 2018, or did you make an April payment last year also? Apr 16, 2020 at 13:09
  • I made a (small) payment last year too. Are you leading to having an account for withdrawals is - for the IRS - not automatically having an account for deposits? That would be an explanation, but a rather surprising differentiation. Who has different accounts for incoming money and outgoing money?
    – Aganju
    Apr 16, 2020 at 16:45
  • I have no answer (hence comment), but am suggesting that possibility based on the use of direct deposit information rather than something like bank account information in the IRS pages I read. I also paid last April, and have received no economic impact check, while acquaintances who got refunds last year (or earlier this year) have received checks. I'm not suggesting the IRS expects that people use different accounts for outgoing and incoming funds, but that there might be different practices or regulations on storing account info, depending on for what purpose it was submitted. Apr 16, 2020 at 17:28
  • 1
    Ref: different accounts for outgoing and incoming money. I'm sure plenty of people have all their incoming money deposited into a savings account and only transfer what they need to spend to a checking account (to maximize interest earned). Still weird of the IRS to differentiate (if that's the case here), but it makes sense.
    – Nosjack
    Apr 16, 2020 at 18:17
  • 4
    Apart from the possibility of "different accounts for outgoing and incoming money", there darn well are different authorizations. Authorizing a deposit to a particular account and authorizing a withdrawal from that account are two entirely distinct actions, neither of which permits the opposite transfer (although likely permitting an adjustment or reversal of a transfer, which is not at all the same as a transfer in the opposite direction)
    – Ben Voigt
    Apr 17, 2020 at 18:39

3 Answers 3


[this is a self-answer, as more information became public]

If your previous year's filings didn't result in refunds, the IRS will not use the account information it has (from Foxbusiness):

[...] Even if you filed your 2018 or 2019 tax returns automatically, you must have also received a refund in those years via direct deposit to ensure your money arrives. If you owed money, the IRS will not use that bank account information. [...]

So it is correct that the IRS treats refund accounts and withdrawal accounts as two different thing, as proposed by @user4556274 in a comment, even though most people would use the same account for getting and paying money. They rather send you nothing than putting it in one of your accounts where you potentially wouldn't have wanted it.

  • 7
    They won't send nothing if they don't have direct deposit information; they'll send a paper check to your mailing address. Apr 17, 2020 at 16:34

To potentially help others who are in the same position (did not receive a refund in 2018 or 2019):

You will still receive the stimulus - either via a paper check in the mail sometime in the future, or via providing direct deposit information on the IRS portal Get My Payment. I was able to enter my tax information and direct deposit account there to receive a deposit without waiting for the paper checks.


There are reports that people that had their payment or refund go though a third party site didn't get direct deposit.

For example if you told TurboTax to take the fee from your refund, or to tack their fee onto your IRS payment, then the IRS didn't get the bank information. They saw it as transaction with TurboTax. The tax software company has your bank information. This is also a issue for people who get refund anticipation loans, or have the funds put directly onto a branded debit card. It also impacted those that didn't use the software but did use an actual tax preparer and made similar choices.

  • Correct, and useful for tohers that check here - but doesn't apply to my situation.
    – Aganju
    Apr 17, 2020 at 15:06

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .