Update Concerning Economic Impact Payments (EIP) and Tax Solutions

April 22, 2020

In the last week, we’ve received many calls regarding Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) that were inadvertently sent by the IRS to MetaBank temporary tax refund transfer accounts. Further complicating this, the IRS website failed to provide an immediate update. Saturday, the IRS unfortunately stated that it would redeposit these funds to these same temporary tax refund transfer accounts, which was inconsistent with our communications with the IRS.

Most recently, however, the IRS updated its frequently asked questions (FAQ) section of their Get My Payment website to address and confirm our prior guidance. (https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment-frequently-asked-questions#bank ).

Key answers on the IRS FAQ webpage include:

  1. There is a process and requirement for the bank to reject certain payments and return to the IRS
  2. EIPs will automatically be mailed from the IRS to taxpayers’ addresses on their most recent tax returns (or on file with the USPS).
  3. There was a reporting error indicating that rejected payments were being sent back to the same taxpayers’ temporary tax refund transfer accounts a second time. The IRS will mail these EIPs to taxpayers.
  4. Get My Payment will begin updating Tuesday, April 21, to correctly reflect that EIPs will be mailed, not rerouted to a bank account. These updates happen daily.

We are pleased that the IRS Get My Payment website is now providing accurate and timely information to help you provide accurate information. Once again, thank you for your patience as we work through these challenges.

Resources

The IRS is maintaining two pages with answers to EIP questions. They continue to be updated periodically.

Update Concerning Economic Impact Payments (EIP) and Tax Solutions: IRS to Mail Checks

April 21, 2020

Last night the IRS updated its Get My Payments website, confirming that customers will receive their Economic Impact Payments (EIP) by mail to their addresses on file. This is the correct and updated payment status message. The IRS only updates once a day at night, and all records are not updated yet.

Contrary to this weekend’s update, the IRS does NOT intend to send EIPs back to the same temporary refund transfer accounts from where those payments were returned. The IRS is correcting this error and is updating the Get My Payments website each day at night. Below is an example of the new message.

PLEASE NOTE: not all individuals’ Get My Payment status is updated. The date for checks to mail may vary by person.

We are deeply concerned that our customers were delayed in getting their EIP payments. We hope this update from the IRS will provide more clarity and comfort about your expectations on receiving your EIP.

Additionally, the IRS is maintaining an ongoing FAQ with answers to common EIP questions. Check their site daily with updates that will address this and many other questions.

Thank you for your patience as we work through these challenges.

Update Concerning Economic Impact Payments (EIP) and Tax Solutions

April 20, 2020

We were very concerned to learn over the weekend that the messaging on the Get My Payment website is now telling customers their payments are scheduled to be distributed back to the same temporary refund transfer accounts at the end of this week (April 24), with no option to take any action. This is NOT the direction that the IRS has given us. We believe the messaging was posted in error and we have communicated as such to the IRS.

We, along with other banks in the industry, are trying to get clarification from the IRS, and requesting changes are made to this update as soon as possible. We will update our customers and partners as soon as we get clarification from the IRS.

Here is the most recent language on the IRS site regarding the returned direct deposits being redistributed as a check:

Source: IRS Economic Impact Payment Information Center:

Q30. I requested a direct deposit of my Payment. Why are you mailing it to me as a check?

A30. It is possible we do not have the correct bank account information for you, or your financial institution rejected the direct deposit. In either case, your Payment will be mailed to the address we have on file for you.

Resources:

The IRS is maintaining two pages with answers to EIP questions. We have been told these sites will be updated on a regular basis.

MetaBank Statement regarding Economic Impact Payments and Tax Refund Solutions

April 16, 2020

This week, MetaBank learned that the IRS is inadvertently distributing some Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) to consumers’ temporary bank accounts with our tax divisions Refund Advantage and EPS Financial. It was an error to send these EIPs to these accounts. The IRS has not explained to us why this error occurred.

These accounts managed by our Refund Advantage and EPS Financial tax solutions only process standard tax refunds owed to taxpayers as a result of a tax filing.  As we are required, for EIPs sent to these accounts, upon receipt, MetaBank is immediately sending these EIP payments back to the IRS so that the IRS can distribute directly to consumers.

We are deeply concerned that this error will delay consumers from receiving EIP payments during this difficult time.  MetaBank is working closely with our tax refund partners to ensure that they redirect customers to the IRS.  As we are expeditiously sending EIP payments back to the IRS, we encourage impacted consumers to contact the IRS directly with questions or for further details.