When the IRS sent the first stimulus payments, about 4 million Americans received their money on an EIP card. The IRS said it uses the same payment method for some of the second incentive payments this time around for the sake of time. (Here’s how to find outyou are in for the second payment.)
Below we answer some frequently asked questions about EIP cards, including what to do if you actually get one. We recently updated this story.
What is an EIP card?
An economic impact payment card is a prepaid debit card that the Ministry of Finance used to distribute certain incentive payments among the, instead of an electronic money transfer or paper check. The maps have been issued to some for whom the government had no bank details.
The IRS said it will use the cards to distribute incentive payments this time too.
These Visa debit cards can be used to make purchases, collect cash from networked ATMs and transfer money to your personal bank account at no cost.
If you receive one, after the card arrives, visit the EIP card website to activate it and learn more about how to use it.
Why should I get the EIP card instead of a paper stimulus check?
For the first round of payments, those eligible received the initial incentive payment by EIP card rather than by check whether they had filed their taxes but the IRS did not have their bank account information to hand and whether the tax return had been processed by IRS service centers in Andover, Massachusetts or Austin, Texas, according to a Treasury press release. The meaning of those particular service centers is not clear, and the Treasury has not responded to our request for more information.
For the second round of payments starting this week, the IRS said it will send paper checks or a debit card in the mail if it doesn’t have bank details to hand. The IRS said some people who last received a paper check can receive a debit card this time, and some people who last received a debit card can receive a paper check.
How much incentive money can be loaded on the EIP card?
Receiving your payment via an EIP card would not change this– it’s just another format of the same payment.
The amount you will be allotted in a second stimulus payment (whether in the form of, check or EIP card sent by mail) , from your tax returns, along with your tax return status (single versus joint) and how many dependents you have. The maximum amount a single taxpayer can get is $ 1,200.
Find out. You can also find out and . Here is and the stimulus check situation for , people in the , and people .
How long can it take to receive my EIP card now that a second incentive payment has been authorized?
When the CARES law was passed in March, the first EIP cards didn’t go out until mid-May. But the IRS said it expects to start sending EIP cards by mail starting Wednesday, Dec. 30.
The IRS said you can also track your money (in any form) with the same IRS tool you can use to, later this week.
How will my EIP card be delivered?
If you qualify, the IRS said your EIP card will arrive at the address listed on your latest tax return in a white envelope with the seal of the United States Treasury Department. The card has the name Visa on the front and the issuing bank, MetaBank®, NA, on the back. The information that comes with the card explains that this is your economic impact payment.
Because the envelope containing the first EIP card was not clearly marked, some peoplewithout opening it during the first round of incentive payments. The IRS said that for eligible people who don’t receive a direct deposit, pay careful attention to their mail for the next few weeks.
Note: If you have moved, you must do this.
Can I get a direct deposit instead?
If the IRS has your bank account information handy, you are more likely to receive the payment via direct deposit rather than an EIP card. Since the first incentive checks were sent, more effort has been made to get people who don’t have a bank account to get one for this purpose. Here are ways you could help.
Will the IRS notify me that an EIP card is coming?
With the first incentive payments, the IRS sent a letter about your money to your last known address within 15 days of the payment being made. The letter contained information on how you got the money (check or direct deposit or EIP card) and how to report it if you did not receive payment. But beware: there have been manygo around. Before giving anyone your information, visit IRS.gov to make sure your letter is legitimate.
What should I do if my EIP card is lost or destroyed?
If you have lost or destroyed your EIP card, you can request a free replacement with the first cards through MetaBank customer service. The replacement fee will be waived the first time. We expect the IRS to do something similar this time.
You don’t need to know your card number to request a replacement. Simply call 800-240-8100 and choose the second option from the main menu, according to the IRS website.
For more information, see if youand .