The Investigators: Customers of tax preparation company say they didn’t receive their federal stimulus money

The Investigators: Customers of tax preparation company say they didn’t receive their stimulus money

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Millions of people have received their economic impact payments from the federal government.

But there are folks across the country, including here in the Mid-South, who say their money was sent to the wrong bank account.

Tiffany Belamy came looking for her stimulus money at Tax Express, where she says she's filed her taxes for the past six years.

While there, others showed up looking for the same thing.

They showed us screen shots of their IRS payment statuses, which said their money was scheduled to be deposited on April 15 into bank accounts none of them had opened.

Instead, the last four numbers of each mystery bank account matched the last four digits of their social security numbers.

The IRS used direct deposit information from 2018 or 2019 tax returns to send out some economic impact payments.

Customers said in years past, their refunds were deposited into a Tax Express account. Then, they would be issued a check after the business owner took a fee.

“I would basically come file my taxes and then I would come pick up my check when it was ready. I filed with her the past two years, so I guess this is the account it's under,” said Daphne Johnson, Tax Express customer.

A sign on the door said the business was only open by appointment due to COVID-19.

The customers said they had tried calling the owner but had no luck.

We tried calling and texting and couldn't reach anyone either.

Another sign on the door says, "We do not have and will not have stimulus check" and directs people to call "Santa Barbara."

That led us to Santa Barbara Tax Products Group.

A spokesperson for the company confirmed that it "did get small amounts of EIP and those are being returned to the IRS."

Its website says “if a payment is returned to the IRS, the IRS will mail a check to the taxpayer.”

The IRS website states if the account information on your tax refund is not accurate or the account is closed, it will "automatically mail your payment to your address of record."

Meanwhile, there are reports around the country of tax preparers and other companies receiving their customers' stimulus money.

It seems the customers who were expecting money in their hands on April 15 will have to wait. We will follow up to make sure they did receive their money.

We also reached out to the IRS twice but haven’t hear back.

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