FAQs Regarding EIP

| Posted: January 14, 2021

Q: What can I do for my taxpayers who have been effected by the IRS’ error?

A: Assure your taxpayer that we have repeatedly urged the IRS to resend these payments as soon as possible rather than make recipients wait for their EIP-2 to be issued with their tax refund. Our efforts have been successful, and the IRS has committed to resend those payments directly to the recipients beginning at the end of January. We expect these payments to begin to arrive in the recipient’s bank accounts or by check beginning on February 1. While not ideal, this date is significantly better that waiting for the tax refund to be issued.

Q: Can I offer my clients no cost taxpayer advances for the delayed EIP or how can I get my customers money now? 

A: We do not lend on the EIP amount, but {EPS/RA} is proud to offer one of the only Taxpayer Refund Advance programs in the industry to offer NO COST taxpayer advances of $150, $500 and $1,000 (higher amounts available for a fee). Our hope is that these advances might be a valuable opportunity for you to provide an option to your taxpayers to help bridge the gap between now and February 1.

Q: Why couldn’t you distribute the payments yourself?

A: The payments were deposited to closed accounts in error by the IRS. Unfortunately, by law banks are required to return payments to closed accounts. This process also typically facilitates getting the payments sent by check and delivered to the taxpayers faster.  However, after realizing the volume of erroneously deposited payments and subsequent returns, the IRS indicated they would not be able to process checks while getting their systems ready for tax season. When this was announced, many in the industry found this to be an unacceptable solution and worked closely with the IRS to come up with a more acceptable solution, which is in place now. Our mission is to get everyone their money as fast as possible. Those funds will now be reissued by the IRS directly to the recipient beginning by the end of January. We expect recipients to begin receiving funds in their account or by check beginning February 1.

Q: Can you tell me which of my clients have been affected by this?

A: Yes, we will have those reports available to you this week. The report will let you know which of your customers have been affected and the amount that they should expect to received beginning February 1. This will serve as a great customer service tool for you to give them the facts and serve as an introduction to make appointments and get them in to get their tax return prepared.

Q: My customers think I did something wrong or am holding their funds. What can I tell them?

A: You did nothing wrong and the funds are at the US Treasury. Neither you nor MetaBank are in possession of the funds. At our urging, the IRS has now published information on their website explaining these issues and reaffirming that the banks or the tax preparers do not have their EIP money. We do not have visibility into these funds at the current time. A good answer to your customer is to direct them to the IRS website for more information. The IRS has issued several statements related to this situation. They are included here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-statements-and-announcements. We recommend that recipients check the IRS site for updates and the IRS’ “Get My Payment” tool for more information.

Q: How will my clients receive their EIP-2 payments beginning February 1?

A: If your client received their RT via direct deposit in 2020, the funds will be deposited into the same bank account. If they received their RT via a check printed in your office, they will receive a check mailed to them by the IRS. If their bank account has since been closed, they will also have a check mailed to them by the IRS.

Q: It appears some tax offices have had their customers EIP2 distributed to them directly from their RT bank, why couldn’t I?

A: The temporary bank accounts set up to process Refund Transfers for the prior tax season are now closed. Banks are required by law to return payments to closed accounts for further IRS processing. One of the problems with even trying to attempt that is many payments could be offset by fees, loan repayments, etc., which cause harm to the consumer and customer service issue for you In addition, those payments will not be reflected in the Get My Payments tool, they will not be on the taxpayer database at the IRS for customer service questions by the taxpayer. We believe the best route given the requirements was to insist the IRS to make these payments directly, as they are now doing, and ensure they communicate the information to the consumer through their GMP tool as well as update their taxpayer data so they can answer questions by the taxpayers. 

Q: What if I have already completed the tax return requesting the Recovery Rebate Credit for my impacted customer?

A: The IRS did direct taxpayers that did not get their EIP2 to file for a credit. That would have delayed those payments for many until the end of February and that was unacceptable to us as well as many others in the industry. It is one of the reasons we pushed to have the IRS process the payments as soon as possible. While this has been a fast-moving issue, the IRS is now going to process these payments so there is no need to file for a credit for these customers. To help you, we will be providing a report for you that gives you a list of impacted customers. If your customer is on the list, they will be receiving their EIP2 proceeds directly from the IRS, and the request for a Recovery Rebate Credit should be modified or removed.