Some wait for IRS checks; one taxpayer gets two

Tax preparers are warning taxpayers: If you get more than one stimulus check, it's no windfall. You'll get caught if you try to cash it.

A Chicago-based technical writer, who did not give her name, told MarketWatch that she opened her mailbox to find a $600 stimulus check - after she had already deposited a $600 stimulus check.

The problem appears to be isolated. MarketWatch reported that it found just one tax preparer who said a client received two payments. The IRS had previously stated that 1,500 payments had been sent to the wrong accounts.

Gloria Sutton, IRS spokeswoman in Jacksonville, FL, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that 1,500 is a small number, considering tens of millions of economic stimulus payments that have been sent.

Barbara Steinmetz, a certified financial planner and enrolled agent with Steinmetz Financial Planning in San Mateo, CA, said the IRS will catch the mistake. "They have some very sophisticated matching programs," Steinmetz said. "They are capable of tracking it if you got more than one.”

The IRS advises taxpayers to return the check if a duplicate arrives. Write “void” where you would normally endorse the check, attach a note that says, “erroneous stimulus payment check” and mail it to the IRS center where you filed your taxes.

If an extra payment was electronically deposited into your bank account, inform the bank, and officials there will know the procedures for returning the money, the IRS said.

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