What Do You Do if You Put the Wrong Routing Number & Account Number on Your Tax Refund?

by Emma Watkins

    For years, the IRS has offered taxpayers the option of receiving their refund by electronic funds transfer, a faster method of getting paid. By including your bank’s routing number as well as your account number in the appropriate field in Form 1040, you allow the revenue agency to access your bank record to make the deposit. The IRS also offers guidelines for you to follow if you realize you made a mistake inputting either number. The steps you take depend on the type of error you made.

    Step 1

    Check your mailbox regularly after realizing you left digits out of your account or routing number. Unable to validate your account information, the IRS will send you a check in the mail automatically. The agency does the same if you write a complete number that does not match an existing account or financial institution.

    Step 2

    Contact the bank that received your refund from the IRS if you find out the revenue agency was able to process it, but the money ended up in the wrong account. If you make a mistake by writing a real person’s bank information on Form 1040, causing the IRS to make a successful deposit, your recourse is to explain the error to the financial institution to get the refund transferred to you.

    Step 3

    Log into your account with the service you use to electronically file your tax return. Verify whether your return has been rejected or accepted for filing. If it has been rejected, the situation gives you a second chance at correcting your bank account information. Contact the service’s customer care if you cannot figure out how to make the change. In addition, edit all other information that caused the return to be rejected. Save the revised return and resubmit it.

    Tip

    • Contact your state's revenue agency if you made the same mistake on the state's tax forms and you are also expecting a refund.

    Photo Credits

    • signing check image by jovica antoski from Fotolia.com

    About the Author

    Emma Watkins writes on finance, fitness and gardening. Her articles and essays have appeared in "Writer's Digest," "The Writer," "From House to Home," "Big Apple Parent" and other online and print venues. Watkins holds a Master of Arts in psychology.

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