How Do I Fix My Tax Return if I Messed Up on My Account Number to Be Direct Deposited?

by Amber Keefer
A mistake on your direct deposit information can delay your tax refund.

You can get your tax refund faster by choosing direct deposit, but putting the wrong bank routing or account number on your tax return could lead to problems getting your money. Forgetting a number, transposing numbers or entering an incorrect number on your return might cause the bank to reject the deposit or putting it into someone else's account. While you can’t fix that mistake on your tax return, you can try to recover your refund.

Check Refund Status

Before you panic and start making calls, find out what’s going on with your tax refund by checking the status online. When you e-file, you can access refund information 72 hours after the IRS confirms receiving your return. Refund information for a paper return takes longer, usually three to four weeks after you mail in your return. Using the online "Where’s My Refund" tool allows you to find out if the IRS received your return and is processing it. If the IRS has processed your return, you can get the direct deposit date or see if there was a problem delivering your refund. You can also call the IRS Refund Hotline at 1-800-829-1954.

Fixing Your Mistake

If you catch the mistake before the IRS issues your refund, you may be able to prevent a mix up by contacting the bank and giving an account representative the right information. You also can contact the IRS to request that the agency stop the direct deposit if it hasn’t already processed your tax return. But if the IRS has issued the refund and the account number doesn't exist, either the numbers won't pass the IRS validation check or the bank will reject the deposit and return it to the IRS. Either way, the IRS then will mail you a paper check.

Depositing Refund in Wrong Account

If you mistakenly gave the IRS a bank account number that belongs to another customer, the bank may accept the deposit and put it into that account. The IRS will try to help you by contacting the bank in an effort to get your refund back. First, you must file Form 3911 -- Taxpayer Statement Regarding Refund. If the bank refuses to return the funds or the money is no longer available, however, the IRS can’t help you. Since the IRS isn’t responsible for a mistake you made, you and the bank have to settle the problem. If you get no satisfaction, you may have to take your case to civil court.

IRS Mistake

If the IRS makes a mistake and issues your refund to the wrong account, the agency is responsible for correcting the problem. When your refund doesn't arrive, contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 after verifying that you entered the right bank routing and account numbers on your tax return. You can prevent problems on your part by checking the bank routing and account numbers you put on your tax return several times before submitting it.

About the Author

Amber Keefer has more than 25 years of experience working in the fields of human services and health care administration. Writing professionally since 1997, she has written articles covering business and finance, health, fitness, parenting and senior living issues for both print and online publications. Keefer holds a B.A. from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. in health care management from Baker College.

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