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What's the deal with delayed stimulus checks?

If you used a tax preparation service to file your 2018 or 2019 tax returns, a glitch with the service could be why your stimulus money is missing.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Have you gotten your coronavirus stimulus check yet?

If not, you're one of millions left waiting and wondering when it'll arrive. 

If you didn't set up direct deposit with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), you're probably still anxiously awaiting relief in the form of a paper check in the mail. The IRS said it plans to send paper checks out starting this coming week, but getting through all of them will take months. You may not see yours until August.

But if you’re sitting there scratching your head, knowing you filed your taxes in 2018 or 2019, and certain the money ended up in a bank account, another issue could be at play.

A glitch with your tax preparation service could be why your stimulus money is missing.

RELATED: Getting 'Payment Status Not Available' from the new IRS stimulus check tracker? You're not alone

KGW spoke with a Portland tax preparer over the phone who said his phone is blowing up with clients wondering where their checks are.

Tax professionals say if you got an advance on your 2018 or 2019 tax return, the IRS may have sent the check to an intermediary refund transfer account.

Those are created if you filed taxes using companies like H&R Block, TurboTax, Jackson Hewitt, or even a small, local tax preparer. They offer services where people can get tax return refunds immediately, in advance, for a fee.

The money is often sent through debit cards attached to temporary bank accounts. Those accounts are also set up for people who want to pay for tax preparers' services out of their refunds so they don't have to pay upfront.

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In those situations, CNBC reports the IRS may not have people's direct deposit information on hand so it's using that intermediary account to deposit stimulus checks.

Those temporary accounts from previous years likely don't exist anymore.

The IRS hasn't said exactly what they'll do if checks are sent to the wrong account. But normally, financial experts say if a bank account is closed, a refund is rejected and the IRS will send out a paper check to the address on the last return.

H&R Block told CNBC the IRS has bank account information for people who e-filed, and the IRS is creating confusion.

An H&R Block spokeswoman said: “We share our clients' frustration that many of them have not yet received these much-needed payments due to IRS decisions, and we are actively working with the IRS to get stimulus payments sent directly to client accounts."

If this applies to you go online to IRS.gov, click on ‘Get my Payment’, browse the page and click on ‘Get My Payment’ again. It will prompt you to put in your Social Security number and other information, then you will submit your direct deposit information.

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