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Customers of tax preparation businesses say stimulus money deposited in wrong bank account

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BATON ROUGE - Millions of stimulus checks were deposited in bank accounts across the country this week, but some people say their money has been deposited into the wrong account.

Watch this full story live on News 2 at 6

When Olivia Williams logged onto the IRS portal Wednesday to locate her stimulus funds, she saw it was deposited into an account that she didn't recognize.

"My stimulus refund had been deposited into a bank account that wasn't my actual bank account," she said.

That account number belonged to Safeguard Tax Services, a business that helped file her taxes in 2018. Williams says Safeguard uses a company bank account to receive client refunds, and when it receives that money it will cut them a check. Williams says this process worked for her in the past, but it also means that the company bank account was on file with the IRS when it disbursed stimulus funds.

Williams told 2 On Your Side she contacted Safeguard for answers.

"He told me they did receive everyone's check, everyone's stimulus checks, and it wasn't supposed to go in their account," she said. "He just left me in a standstill of not knowing what to do."

Thursday afternoon, WBRZ heard from Safeguard, which confirmed the stimulus money of their clients was deposited in the company's corporate account and has already been returned to the IRS. Safeguard says customers can log into the IRS portal Friday to update their bank account information.

According to the IRS, reports similar to Williams' involving third party accounts are being made all across country and the service says it's looking into them.

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