If you've entered the wrong bank account number when filing out your tax return for direct deposit, your money isn't lost forever. The IRS does a validation check to ensure the name on the account matches the name on the tax return. If the numbers are wrong, they won't pass the IRS validation check. The IRS will mail a paper check to your address instead.
Entering the wrong account number or routing number isn't the only way to fail the validation check on a bank account. You can also fail if the bank account is not in the name -- or names -- of tax filers getting the refund. Some financial institutions refuse to directly deposit a joint tax refund into an individual account. That means you'll either need a joint account or a different form of refund, such as a paper check. Before filing your joint return, you should call your bank to find out if you can deposit your joint refund into an individual account. If you used tax software to submit your tax return, you might be able to log back in and enter the correct information if you originally entered the wrong account number. The best way to ensure that you don't lose sleep is to call the IRS and let them know that you entered the wrong information.
Darlene Peer has been writing, editing and proofreading for more than 10 years. Peer has written for magazines and contributed to a number of books. She has worked in various fields, from marketing to business analysis. Peer received her Bachelor of Arts in English from York University.