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IRS Has Answers for Taxpayers Getting EIP Cards

If any of your clients are one of the 4 million filers set to receive their Economic Impact Payment as a Visa prepaid debit card, they may be interested in one of the latest Internal Revenue Service press releases. The announcement covers a number of topics related to the new EIP Card Program, including some of the questions most frequently asked by EIP recipients. 

What is an EIP Card?  

An EIP Card is a Visa prepaid debit card that arrives in a “plain envelop from ‘Money Network Cardholder Services.’” The IRS made a point of explaining that users will not be charged a fee for normal use, like retail purchases, ATM withdrawals, and bank account transfers. Likewise, there won’t be a fee for using the Money Network mobile app or customer service number to check the card balance.

What are the most frequently asked questions for EIP Card holders?

Many taxpayers want to know if they are able to ask the Treasury to send their Economic Impact Payment to an existing prepaid card. The answer depends on a few factors:

  1. Is your payment already on the way?
  2. Can you “reload” funds on your current prepaid card?
  3. Does your prepaid card have an account number and routing number?

Obviously, a payment that has already been sent can’t be loaded onto a prepaid card by the Treasury prior to being received by the filer. As for whether the Treasury can put the money on your current prepaid card, the agency says that’s possible if it has an associated account number and routing number.

“You would need to check with the financial institution to ensure your card can be re-used and to obtain the routing number and account number, which may be different from the card number,” the IRS explained. “If you obtained your prepaid debit card through the filing of a federal tax return, you must contact the financial institution that issued your prepaid debit card to get the correct routing number and account number.” However, the IRS said you can’t use the account number and routing number listed on a recently filed tax return.

Other taxpayers simply wanted to know if they could request their payment could be issued on an EIP card. Unfortunately, the IRS said, “not at this time.”

To read other EIP frequently asked questions, visit IRS.gov. And for more information about EIP Cards, check out EIPCard.com

Source: IR-2020-105

Ryan Norton

Whether designing superheroes, penciling caricatures, or just doodling, I always knew I was going to earn some sort of art degree while in college. That was my goal before I decided to trade Edgar Degas for Edgar Allan Poe during a Freshman English class. The BA in English soon morphed into a double-major in English and Philosophy, eventually becoming an MA in English. It only makes sense that I learned of a writing opportunity for a local marketing firm while teaching a first-year college English course. Before I knew it, I was writing and editing tax-related articles for Taxing Subjects, and this has been my home since 2014.

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