CHICAGO (CBS) — H&R Block is getting flooded with complaints after millions of stimulus checks wound up in the tax preparer’s hands instead of those of their customers.
As the company sorts through what happened, we are hearing about other IRS messes too. CBS 2’s Lauren Victory talked to two mothers upset about their missing money.
Stephanie Wroblewski, like everyone, wanted the New Year to be a fresh start. But when she talked with Victory, she was crying.
“It’s just hard,” Wroblewski said.
The certified nursing assistant spent 2020 on the COVID-19 frontlines at Northwestern Medicine in Lake Forest. And then at home, with four kids, there was a different battle.
“You know, I have three teenagers that are always eating; Always wanting to do stuff – it’s just anything,” Wroblewski said. “Behind on bills, trying to feed them.”
The year 2021 had looked brighter with news of stimulus checks on the way. Wroblewski kept checking her status on IRS.gov and finally got an update.
“I freaked out,” she said. “Instant tears.”
Wroblewski was shocked and confused, because the $1,800 she needs for bills did not land in the same place as her April stimulus check.
The correct bank account ends in 7778. Why did the tracker show different numbers this time, referencing a bank account that Wroblewski says she does not recognize at all?
Trey Smith’s mom is having a different problem. On top of helping him with e-learning and hunting for a job, Deann Smith is trying to figure out how to access the extra cash she needs.
“School supplies, food, and home,” she said.
An email from American Express confirmed Deann Smith’s $600 in stimulus money came in, but was returned because the payment was sent to a closed account.
“There was kind of like butterflies in my stomach like they dropped, and it was like, OK, now what do I do?” Deann Smith said.
She points to IRS messaging saying, “Taxpayers do not need to take any action.” But plenty of other people are questioning that claim.
High call volume prevented Smith – of Gary, Indiana – from solving a puzzle. She is on a fixed income, so why didn’t the government use that account?
Back in Illinois, stress is mounting for health care hero Wroblewski.
“I’m freaking out, you know?” she said.
Every hour waiting means another bill delayed.
“I need to make calls and let them know that we’re going to be even later than we thought,” Wroblewski said.
The IRS has not said a word about this. As for if r when that money will get into your account if it’s missing, that’s a good question – neither the IRS nor H&R Block had any advice.
In the meantime, if your stimulus money is missing, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org, as Victory plans to follow up.
Also From CBS Chicago: