Some wait for stimulus payment with questions about where it is

Published: Apr. 17, 2020 at 7:20 PM EDT
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Stimulus payments hit many bank accounts this week but some have not received the money, leaving them confused on the process and where to go for help.

Ernest Wilcox is staying home, staying safe these days. With his stimulus money, it's not time for a vacation or down payment on a fancy car.

"That's the goal, to pay my bills each month and take care of business so that me and everybody I depend on can be happy,” said Wilcox.

Social security is his income, he filed his 2018 taxes, his 2019 are in process, but when he logs on to find the stimulus, the message says "payment status not available."

"I understood it was going to come via direct deposit, so I didn't really worry about it,” said Wilcox.

CPA Charles Heid of Maumee's Gilmore Jaison and Mahler said it's a confusing time to even understand what these payments are. To start, they're not taxed.

"What you're getting today is the advance of the credit, the refundable credit that you would get on your 2020 return. That's all you're getting,” said Heid.

No federal, or state tax will come out. If you have a child support garnishment, these dollars can be taken for that. If you have a garnishment for something like a credit card debt, technically the money can also be taken, but Ohio has asked the treasury department to clear that up.

"These payments are going out to get into the hands of people who need help financially," Heid said. "The only advice I can give right now is monitor your bank account. And when that $1,200 hits if you're single or $2,400 for filing joint, get it out of your account,” said Heid.

Direct deposit payments are going out now. Paper checks could be several months away. If you typically get a paper check tax refund or owe money, you can enter direct deposit information now.

"There's a place (on the IRS website) where you can go out and enter that in,” said Heid.

It’s uncharted territory on a stressed IRS system, leaving some to wait for the issues to be sorted out.

"The only thing I can do now is wait and watch because they're not telling me anything I can do to take action. If they did, I’d take the action,” said Wilcox.