Treasury is Delivering Millions of Economic Impact Payments by Prepaid Debit Card

  • Treasury and the IRS are starting to send nearly 4 million Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) by prepaid debit card, instead of by paper check.
  • EIP Card recipients can make purchases, get cash from in-network ATMs, and transfer funds to their personal bank account without incurring any fees.
  • Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank, will mail EIP Cards to eligible recipients beginning this week.
  • The IRS will start adding 3,500 telephone representatives to answer some of the most common questions about Economic Impact Payments.

This week, Treasury and the IRS are starting to send nearly 4 million Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) by prepaid debit card, instead of by paper check. EIP Card recipients can make purchases, get cash from in-network ATMs, and transfer funds to their personal bank account without incurring any fees. They can also check their card balance online, by mobile app, or by phone without incurring fees. The EIP Card can be used online, at ATMs, or at any retail location where Visa is accepted. This free, prepaid card also provides consumer protections available to traditional bank account owners, including protections against fraud, loss, and other errors.

“Treasury and the IRS have been working with unprecedented speed to issue Economic Impact Payments to American families. Prepaid debit cards are secure, easy to use, and allow us to deliver Americans their money quickly,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “Recipients can immediately activate and use the cards safely.”

Treasury has already delivered more than 140 million Economic Impact Payments worth $239 billion to Americans by direct deposit to accounts at financial institutions, Direct Express card accounts, and by check. The Treasury-sponsored EIP Card is another method to provide money efficiently and securely to eligible recipients and their families. EIP Cards are being distributed to qualified individuals without bank information on file with the IRS, and whose tax return was processed by either the Andover or Austin IRS Service Center.

Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank, will mail EIP Cards to eligible recipients beginning this week. Each mailing will include instructions on how to activate and use the card.

The EIP Card is part of Treasury’s U.S. Debit Card program, which provides prepaid debit card services to federal agencies for the electronic delivery of non-benefit payments. MetaBank was selected as Treasury’s financial agent for the U.S. Debit Card program in 2016, following a competitive selection process conducted by the Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service.

The IRS will start adding 3,500 telephone representatives to answer some of the most common questions about Economic Impact Payments.

IRS telephone assistance and other services will remain limited, and answers for most of the common questions related to Economic Impact Payments are available on IRS.gov. The IRS anticipates bringing back additional assistors as state and local advisories permit.

Answers for most Economic Impact Payment questions are available on the automated message for people who call the phone number provided in the letter (Notice 1444). Those who need additional assistance at the conclusion of the message will have the option of talking to a telephone representative.

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.

To learn more about Economic Impact Payments.

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Filomena Mealy

Filomena is a Relationship Manager for the Tax Outreach, Partnership and Education Branch of the Internal Revenue Service's.  Her responsibilities include developing outreach partnerships with non-tax companies, organizations and associations, such as the banking industry to educate and communicate changes in tax law, policy and procedures. She has provided content and served as a contributor to various associations and online media sources.
http://IRS.GOV

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