The federal government has only just begun sending out a second round of stimulus payments, and many people are already waiting a little longer than expected for their money.
Many payments have been sent to inactive or temporary accounts that taxpayers don’t have access to. It’s not clear how many people are affected, but the tax preparation company Jackson Hewitt said the Internal Revenue Service had sent payments to more than 13 million bank accounts that were no longer open or valid.
“Because of the speed at which the law required the I.R.S. to issue the second round of Economic Impact Payments, some payments may have been sent to an account that may be closed or no longer active,” the agency said in a statement on Tuesday.
Companies like TurboTax, H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt sometimes set up temporary accounts for clients when they prepare returns. For example, clients who opts to have preparation fees deducted from their refund may be issued one of these accounts, allowing the tax firm to take its share and then pass on the rest. After that, the accounts are generally inactive — but may still be linked to the taxpayers in I.R.S. records. Payments that are sent to inactive accounts must be returned to the Treasury.
People who don’t receive their payments promptly should claim the so-called Recovery Rebate Credit on their 2020 tax return, the I.R.S. said. (The credit can be found on line 30 of the 2020 Form 1040 or 1040-SR.)
Taxpayers can check the status of their stimulus payments with the I.R.S.’s Get My Payment tool. If you don’t recognize the account number that received the payment, it may be one of these temporary accounts.
H&R Block said it was already passing along stimulus payments to customers’ bank accounts and via prepaid debit card to certain customers. A spokeswoman for TurboTax said the company was working with the I.R.S. to help taxpayers receive their payments as soon as possible. And Jackson Hewitt suggested on its website that customers consider taking the rebate on their 2020 taxes.
The yield on 10-year Treasury notes climbed above 1 percent for the first time since March on Wednesday as the final votes were being counted in two Georgia Senate elections, with the Democrats set to clinch both seats and control of Congress.
U.S. stock futures were mixed: The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell by nearly 2 percent while more diversified indexes were flat. Market watchers noted that high-flying tech stocks may be hit by higher taxes and stricter antitrust scrutiny under a Democratic Congress, while better prospects for stimulus could be good for companies whose fortunes were tied more closely to the overall economy.
European stock indexes rose, led higher by banking and energy stocks. The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.9 percent. The CAC 40 in France rose 0.7 percent and the DAX in Germany gained 0.8 percent. The FTSE 100 in Britain climbed 2.2 percent, with the biggest gains in HSBC and BP.
The price of U.S. Treasuries dropped and the yield on 10-year notes jumped 7 basis points, or 0.07 percentage points, on Wednesday, on the prospect of a Democrat-controlled Senate passing more fiscal spending to aid the economic recovery from the Senate. This would require more borrowing and increase the amount of Treasury notes and bonds in the market.
“With a double Democrat victory in Georgia looking increasingly likely, gains above 1 percent could be maintained, despite many reasons to worry about the economy,” analysts at ING wrote in a note.
“Hopes for more proactive fiscal policy, including in support of a faster vaccination campaign” will prompt investors to bet on higher bond yields, the analysts said, amid expectations that the Federal Reserve could tighten monetary policy and push interest rates up.
Oil prices meandered, a day after futures soared following Saudi Arabia’s commitment to reduce its oil production by one million barrels a day. Futures of West Texas Intermediate, which had exceeded $50 a barrel for the first time since February, were unchanged.
President Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order prohibiting transactions with eight Chinese software applications, including Alipay, the payment platform owned by Ant Group, and WeChat Pay, which is owned by Tencent. The move, two weeks before the end of Mr. Trump’s term, could help lock in his administration’s harsher stance toward China and is likely to further rankle Beijing. But defining the scope of the order and enforcing it would presumably fall to the incoming Biden administration.
OPEC, Russia and other oil major producers reached an unusual agreement on production quotas on Tuesday, with Saudi Arabia committing to reducing its oil production by one million barrels a day and Russia and Kazakhstan winning relatively modest production increases. The effect will be an overall reduction in oil production. The news pushed prices up more than 4 percent, reaching levels not seen since February.
The global economy faces a subdued recovery in 2021 as countries race to roll out coronavirus vaccines and businesses around the world try to emerge from pandemic lockdowns that have widened income inequality and piled on debt, the World Bank said on Tuesday. The global economy will expand 4 percent in 2021 after contracting 4.3 percent last year, the World Bank projected in its Global Economic Prospects report. The bank described the nascent recovery as “fragile” and said that its trajectory would depend on the success of widespread vaccine distribution.
News – Why Stimulus Money Was Delayed for 13 Million People: Live Updates