How Do I Change My Bank Account or Routing Number on My Tax Return?

When dealing with the stress of preparing and filing taxes, making mistakes with the bank account number or routing number can occur. If you catch the mistake before the return is processed, you can call the IRS to stop the direct deposit. In some cases, the IRS will catch the mistake in the validation process or when the deposit is rejected and send you a paper check.

Adam Goldkamp is the editor / author responsible for this content.
Apr 27, 2022

Filing taxes can be stressful, and sometimes that stress can cause you to put an incorrect bank account or routing number on your tax return to the IRS. When this happens, it can delay your refund by weeks or months, so you want to make sure you have the correct information on file at the IRS. How do you change your bank account number or routing number on your tax return with the IRS? You can get information on IRS policies and procedures by calling taxpayer support here, and below are steps you can take when you need to update your bank account or routing number.

Why You May Need to Update Your Banking Information

Preparing taxes can lead to mistakes when entering banking information. Some common mistakes include:

  1. Omitting or transposing numbers in the bank account or the routing number, and the information does not pass the validation check by the IRS.
  2. Omitting or transposing numbers and it still passes the validation check by the IRS, but is rejected by the financial institution.
  3. You entered account and routing information but the account is in someone else's name and the refund deposit is accepted by the bank.
  4. Through your paid tax preparation service, you requested a refund anticipation loan or refund anticipation check.

Steps to Take When Mistakes Happen

There are some steps you can take when any of the above situations occur, including:

  1. When the information doesn't pass the IRS validation process, you can wait to receive a paper check in the mail. While this will take longer, this is the easiest fix to the situation.
  2. If the refund passed the IRS validation, but the bank rejected the direct deposit, the IRS will send you a paper check in this situation as well.
  3. When your deposit goes into someone else's account, you must work directly with the financial institution to get your refund placed in your account.
  4. If you used a paid tax preparation service, you will have to contact that service for issues with the routing and account numbers to receive your refund.
  5. If your return is still pending processing (hasn't posted to the IRS system) and you notice an error on the account number or routing number, you can call the IRS here and request a stop to the direct deposit.

In short, the IRS does not assume responsibility for any returns that have incorrect or incomplete bank account or bank routing numbers. It is up to the individual or the paid tax preparer to check the information for accuracy before filing the returns. When mistakes occur, there are some circumstances the IRS can mail a paper check; however, when banks have accepted the direct deposits, rectifying mistakes are then between the individual and the financial institution.

If you have noticed a mistake on the routing number or account number on your return, take steps now to try to stop the direct deposit or recover the funds. For more information or assistance, contact the IRS customer service center here.

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