The IRS began mailing the second round of COVID-related stimulus checks in late December, and they have until January 15 to finish distributing them. If you don't see the $600 in your bank account yet, it doesn't necessarily mean the government hasn't sent it—but your money might have ended up in the wrong place.

As CNBC reports, people who used services like H&R Block and TurboTax to file their taxes in 2019 may have to wait to get their COVID relief payments. Instead of sending checks directly to people's personal bank accounts, the IRS deposited many checks into bank accounts set up by tax preparers for government refunds.

Any banks that received money this way must return it, but the tax preparers can't reimburse their clients directly. Only the IRS can send the stimulus checks. Which means anyone impacted by the error could have a little while to wait before receiving their payment.

To check the status of your 2021 check, head to the Get My Payment portal on the IRS website. Users who receive the message “Payment Status #2 – Not Available” haven't received the money and likely won't get it before January 15. In such cases, the IRS advises people to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit while filing their tax return electronically this year. This may be the quickest way to receive the money you're owed.

[h/t CNBC]