Taxpayer asks:

How can I update my direct deposit information with the IRS? I filed my 2019 individual return through a tax preparer & my direct deposit went to a joint account with my now ex-wife that was closed recently. All of the scenarios online do not apply to my situation, so hoping you can help point me in the right direction.

Taxgirl says:

So, typically, the best way to change your direct deposit information with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is to put your new information directly on your tax return. Be sure to double check your account and routing numbers before signing and submitting.

If you make a mistake and incorrectly enter an account or routing number and the bank accepts the deposit, you have to work directly with the bank to resolve the situation. Ditto if you requested a Refund Anticipation Loan (RAL) or Refund Anticipation Check (RAC) through your preparer or preparation software, and your tax refund was deposited into the preparer’s bank account. If funds aren’t available or the bank refuses to return the funds, the IRS can’t make the bank do anything: in that event, it becomes a civil matter between you and the bank and/or the owner of the account that has the money (that’s a long way of saying you may have to sue).

If you’ve filed but the return hasn’t posted to the IRS, you can ask the IRS to stop the direct deposit. Call the IRS toll-free at 1.800.829.1040, M – F, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

But in a case like this – where you’ve already filed and you think your refund has already bounced from the closed account – that’s not possible. Typically, if the account is already closed, the bank will return the funds to the IRS. When that happens, the IRS will send a paper refund check to your last known address on file. Hopefully that’s what happens here. Good luck!

Before you go: be sure to read my disclaimer. Remember, I’m a lawyer and we love disclaimers.
If you have a question, here’s how to Ask The Taxgirl.

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Kelly Erb is a tax attorney, tax writer and podcaster.

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