With 15 Million Expected Refund Delays, Refund Advance Could Be Your Saving Grace
January 9, 2017 : Allie Freeland – Contributing Editor
Did you know the income tax return represents the single largest financial transaction most Americans have all year? For the millions of people who want access to money faster than the IRS can provide a tax refund, H&R Block just announced the new Refund Advance, a no-interest loan of up to $1,250*.
As a new product at H&R Block, we wanted to anticipate questions. Read more to get answers on Refund Advance here first:
“What does the PATH Act have to do with a tax refund?”
The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes, or PATH Act, is a federal law that was passed in late 2015. One of its provisions was to combat tax fraud, which is good news. The bad news is it means the IRS must hold the entire refund of early tax filers with certain refundable credits, like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC).
If you are one of the millions of taxpayers who claim these credits, the IRS must hold your entire refund until at least February 15. While this may not seem like a big deal to some, many people rely on their yearly tax refund for unexpected expenses, unpaid bills, credit card payments or just to get by.
“How much can I get?”
The loan is offered in varying amounts:
“How much does it cost?”
The Refund Advance is a no-interest loan. There are no finance charges and no interest charged for the Refund Advance.
“How do I get the Refund Advance?”
The process is straightforward:
- Have your taxes prepared by one of our tax professionals in a participating H&R Block office.
- Tell your tax professional that you want to apply for the Refund Advance.
- If you meet the eligibility criteria, complete the application.
- If approved, MetaBank® will notify you with the loan amount.
“What’s the criteria for approval?”
To be approved for Refund Advance, the IRS must owe you a refund, you must have a return filed by H&R Block, meet certain eligibility requirements and pass the standard underwriting criteria.
“How do I access the money?”
Once you apply for Refund Advance and get approved, your loan funds are then placed on your own H&R Block Emerald Prepaid MasterCard®1. Learn more here.
“When can I get it?”
The Refund Advance will be available starting January 9 for a limited time through tax season.
“Why are you offering this?”
We want to empower you with the right support to help create financial opportunity before, during and after tax preparation.
For more information about Refund Advance or to make an appointment, visit www.hrblock.com/refundadvance.
*This is an optional tax refund-related loan from MetaBank®, not your tax refund. Loans offered in amounts of $500, $750, or $1,250. Approval and loan amount based on estimated refund, ID verification, eligibility criteria, and underwriting. If approved, funds will be loaded on a prepaid card and the loan amount will be deducted from your refund reducing the amount paid directly to you. Tax returns may be e-filed without applying for this loan. Fees for other optional products or product features may apply. Limited time offer, at participating locations. Not offered in PR. HRB Maine License Number FRA2. See hrblock.com/loan for details.
1The H&R Block Emerald Prepaid MasterCard® is a tax refund-related deposit product issued by BofI Federal Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license by MasterCard International Incorporated. Emerald Financial Services, LLC is a registered agent of BofI Federal Bank. MasterCard is a registered trademark of MasterCard International Incorporated. Not available at all locations and to all applicants. Additional fees, terms and conditions apply; consult your Cardholder Agreement for details. ID verification required.