Taxes and the IRS
Expiration of Suspension for Direct Debit Installment Agreements
The IRS People First initiative provided a suspension of most enforcement activities through July 15.
Taxpayers with a suspended direct debit installment agreement need to take action to avoid defaulting their agreements when the suspension expires.
Affected taxpayers should inform their bank at least two weeks before their next payment is due to allow the debits to resume.
IRS alert: Economic Impact Payments belong to recipient, not nursing homes or care facilities
WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service has alerted nursing home and other care facilities that Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) generally belong to the recipients, not the organizations providing the care.
The IRS issued this reminder following concerns that people and businesses may be taking advantage of vulnerable populations who received the Economic Impact Payments.
The payments are intended for the recipients, even if a nursing home or other facility or provider receives the person’s payment, either directly or indirectly by direct deposit or check. These payments do not count as a resource for purposes of determining eligibility for Medicaid and other federal programs for a period of 12 months from receipt. They also do not count as income in determining eligibility for these programs.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has issued FAQs on this issue, including how representative payees should handle administering the payments for the recipient. SSA has noted that under the Social Security Act, a representative payee is only responsible for managing Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. An EIP is not such a benefit; the EIP belongs to the Social Security or SSI beneficiary. A representative payee should discuss the EIP with the beneficiary. If the beneficiary wants to use the EIP independently, the representative payee should provide the EIP to the beneficiary.
The IRS also noted the Economic Impact Payments do not count as resources that have to be turned over by benefit recipients, such as residents of nursing homes whose care is provided for by Medicaid. The Economic Impact Payment is considered an advance refund for 2020 taxes, so it is considered a tax refund for benefits purposes.
The IRS noted the language in the Form 1040 instructions apply to Economic Impact Payments: “Any refund you receive can't be counted as income when determining if you or anyone else is eligible for benefits or assistance, or how much you or anyone else can receive, under any federal program or under any state or local program financed in whole or in part with federal funds. These programs include Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly food stamps). In addition, when determining eligibility, the refund can't be counted as a resource for at least 12 months after you receive it.”
Additional information about EIPs and representative payees involving Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits can be found at www.ssa.gov/coronavirus/#reppayee.
Additional information on EIPs can be found at www.irs.gov/eipfaq.
Economic Impact Payments being sent by prepaid debit cards, arrive in plain envelope; IRS.gov answers frequently asked questions
WASHINGTON – As Economic Impact Payments continue to be successfully delivered, the Internal Revenue Service today reminds taxpayers that some payments are being sent by prepaid debit card. The debit cards arrive in a plain envelope from “Money Network Cardholder Services.”
Nearly 4 million people are being sent their Economic Impact Payment by prepaid debit card, instead of paper check. The determination of which taxpayers received a debit card was made by the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, a part of the Treasury Department that works with the IRS to handle distribution of the payments.
Those who receive their Economic Impact Payment by prepaid debit card can do the following without any fees.
- Make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted
- Get cash from in-network ATMs
- Transfer funds to their personal bank account
- Check their card balance online, by mobile app or by phone
This free, prepaid card also provides consumer protections available to traditional bank account owners, including protection against fraud, loss and other errors.
Frequently asked questions continually updated on IRS.gov
The IRS has two sets of frequently asked questions to help Americans get answers about their Economic Impact Payments, including those arriving on prepaid debit card. These FAQs include answers to eligibility and other many common questions, including help to use two Economic Impact Payment tools.
Get My Payment, an IRS online tool, shows the projected date when a direct deposit has been scheduled or date when the payment will be mailed by check or prepaid debit card. The Non-Filers Enter Payment Info tool helps taxpayers successfully submit basic information to receive Economic Impact Payments quickly.
The IRS regularly updates the Economic Impact Payment and the Get My Payment frequently asked questions pages on IRS.gov as more information becomes available. Taxpayers should check the FAQs often for the latest additions.
Here are answers to some of the top questions people are asking about the prepaid debit cards:
Can I have my economic impact payment sent to my prepaid debit card?
Maybe. It depends on your prepaid card and whether your payment has already been scheduled. Many reloadable prepaid cards have account and routing numbers that you could provide to the IRS through the Get My Payment application or Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool. 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. 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. Do not use the routing number and account number shown on your copy of the tax return filed. When providing this information to the IRS, you should indicate that the account and routing number provided are for a checking account unless your financial institution indicates otherwise.
Will IRS be sending prepaid debit cards?
Some payments may be sent on a prepaid debit card known as The Economic Impact Payment Card The Economic Impact Payment Card is sponsored by the Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service, managed by Money Network Financial, LLC and issued by Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank®, N.A.
If you receive an Economic Impact Payment Card, it will arrive in a plain envelope from “Money Network Cardholder Services.” The Visa name will appear on the front of the Card; the back of the Card has the name of the issuing bank, MetaBank®, N.A. Information included with the Card will explain that the card is your Economic Impact Payment Card. Please go to EIPcard.com for more information.
Can I specifically ask the IRS to send the Economic Impact Payment to me as a debit card?
Not at this time. For those who don’t receive their Economic Impact Payment by direct deposit, they will receive their payment by paper check, and, in a few cases, by debit card. The determination of which taxpayers receive a debit card will be made by the Bureau of the Fiscal Service (BFS), another part of the Treasury Department that works with the IRS to handle distribution of the payments. BFS is sending nearly 4 million debit cards to taxpayers starting in mid-May. At this time, taxpayers cannot make a selection to receive a debit card. Please go to EIPcard.com for more information.
Watch out for scams related to Economic Impact Payments
The IRS urges taxpayers to be on the lookout for scams related to the Economic Impact Payments. To use the new app or get information, taxpayers should visit IRS.gov. People should watch out for scams using email, phone calls or texts related to the payments. Be careful and cautious: The IRS will not send unsolicited electronic communications asking people to open attachments, visit a website or share personal or financial information. Remember, go directly and solely to IRS.gov for official information.
Quick links to the Frequently Asked Questions on IRS.gov:
Economic Impact Payments: www.irs.gov/eipfaq
Get My Payment tool: www.irs.gov/getmypaymentfaq
Please go to EIPcard.com for more information about prepaid debit cards.
Americans are encouraged to use IRS.gov
The IRS regularly posts new and updated answers to the most frequently asked questions about Economic Impact Payments and the Get My Payment tool. Those who wish to know the status of their Economic Impact Payment are reminded to check Get My Payment regularly; the information is frequently updated as the IRS continues to process the remaining payments for delivery. \
For those who are eligible for an Economic Impact Payment but aren’t required to file a tax return, the IRS reminds them the Non-Filers tool also remains available in English or Spanish for them to register for a payment
Information Regarding Economic Impact Payments for Social Security and SSI Beneficiaries
The IRS has begun issuing the EIPs via direct deposit and Direct Express starting May 22, to the same direct deposit account or Direct Express card as the recipient’s monthly Social Security or SSI payment. Paper check EIPs will be mailed starting May 27.
Visit www.ssa.gov/coronavirus/#reppayee to learn about EIPs and representative payees. You can find the eligibility requirements and other information about the EIPs at the IRS’ Economic Impact Payment Information Center.
Economic impact payments: What you need to know
Check IRS.gov for the latest information
The IRS is regularly updating the Economic Impact Payment and the Get My Payment tool frequently asked questions pages on IRS.gov as more information becomes available. Taxpayers should check the FAQs often for the latest additions; many common questions are answered in these.
- FAQs - Economic Impact Payments: www.irs.gov/eipfaq
- FAQs - Get My Payment tool: www.irs.gov/getmypaymentfaq
More than 80 million Economic Impact Payments have already been delivered to the nation’s taxpayers. More payments are on their way. As part of this effort, the IRS has launched two tools to help taxpayers get their payments:
- Get My Payment is helping millions of taxpayers. Since its launch on April 15, millions of taxpayers have been able to input their direct deposit information to speed—and track—their payments. The IRS reminds taxpayers the information is updated once daily, usually overnight, so they only need to enter information once a day.
- The Non-Filers Enter Payment Info tool is helping millions of taxpayers successfully submit basic information to receive Economic Impact Payments quickly to their bank accounts. This tool is designed only for people who are not required to submit a tax return.
How to Use the Tools on IRS.gov to Get Your Economic Impact Payment: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/how-to-use-the-tools-on-irsgov-to-get-your-economic-impact-payment
The IRS is working hard to deliver Economic Impact Payments to all eligible Americans as quickly as possible.