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EIP card: What it is and why the IRS could send you a debit card with your second stimulus check starting this week

The IRS has 3 ways to distribute stimulus cash to you.


Angela Lang/CNET

This week, the IRS began to ship out the second spherical of stimulus funds, that are a part of a bigger COVID-relief package deal that President Donald Trump signed into legislation. The funds are going out by way of direct deposit and within the mail, both as a paper test or as an Financial Impression Fee card (or EIP).

When the IRS despatched the primary stimulus funds, about 4 million Individuals obtained their funds on an EIP card. The IRS stated it’s utilizing the identical debit-card supply technique this time for a number of the second stimulus funds within the curiosity of time. (Here is how you can discover out which IRS precedence group you are in for the second cost.)

Under, we reply some widespread questions on EIP playing cards, together with what to do in the event you really get one. We just lately up to date this story.

Learn extra: Not everybody will qualify for a second stimulus test. Here is why

What’s an EIP card?

eip-prepaid-debit-card-stimulus-check

About 4 million individuals obtained their stimulus cost on a pay as you go debit card known as an EIP card, which seems to be like this. 


Cash Community/Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

An financial influence cost card is a pay as you go debit card that the Treasury Division used to distribute some stimulus funds below the CARES Act, as a substitute of an digital financial switch or paper test. The playing cards have been offered to some eligible US residents for whom the federal government did not have banking data.

The IRS stated it should use the playing cards to distribute stimulus funds this time too.

These Visa debit playing cards can be utilized to make purchases, get money from in-network ATMs and switch funds to your private checking account and not using a payment. 

If you happen to’re despatched one, after the cardboard arrives, head to the EIP card web site to activate it and study extra about how you can use it. 


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Why would I get the EIP card as a substitute of a paper stimulus test?

For the primary spherical of funds, those that have been eligible obtained the primary stimulus cost by EIP card as a substitute of by test in the event that they filed their taxes however the IRS did not have their checking account data available, and if the tax return was processed by IRS service facilities in both Andover, Massachusetts, or Austin, Texas, in response to a Treasury press launch. It is not clear what the importance is of these explicit service facilities, and the Treasury didn’t return our request for extra data.   

For the second spherical of funds beginning to exit this week, the IRS stated it should ship both paper checks or a debit card within the mail if it does not have banking data available. The IRS stated some individuals who obtained a paper test final time may obtain a debit card this time, and a few individuals who obtained a debit card final time could obtain a paper test.

How a lot stimulus cash may be loaded on the EIP card? 

Getting your cost by way of an EIP card would not change something about the quantity you’d get — it is only a totally different format of the identical cost.

The sum of money you are allotted in a second stimulus cost (whether or not it comes within the type of direct deposit, mailed test or EIP card) is determined by your AGI, or adjusted gross revenue, out of your tax filings, alongside together with your submitting standing (single versus joint) and what number of dependents you could have. The utmost quantity a single taxpayer may get is $1,200. 

Discover out how you can calculate how a lot you may get on a second stimulus cost right here. You too can discover out who counts as a dependent in your taxes and what meaning for a stimulus cost. Here is how outdated a dependent needs to be to get a separate stimulus cost and the stimulus test state of affairs for older adults, individuals within the SSDI program, US residents overseas and other people residing in US territories.

How lengthy may it take to get my EIP card now {that a} second stimulus cost is permitted?

When the CARES Act was handed in March, the primary EIP playing cards did not begin going out till mid-Might. However the IRS stated it expects to begin sending EIP playing cards within the mail beginning Wednesday, Dec. 30.

The IRS stated you may additionally be capable to monitor your cash (in no matter kind it should take) utilizing the identical IRS device you should utilize to monitor the standing of your stimulus cost, later this week.

How will my EIP card be delivered?

If you happen to’re eligible, the IRS stated your EIP card will arrive on the deal with listed in your final tax return in a white envelope that shows the U.S. Division of the Treasury seal. The cardboard may have the Visa title on the entrance and the issuing financial institution, MetaBank®, N.A., on the again. Info included with the cardboard will clarify that that is your Financial Impression Fee.

As a result of the envelope containing the primary EIP card wasn’t clearly marked, some individuals reportedly threw the letter away with out opening it throughout the first spherical of stimulus funds. The IRS stated for eligible individuals who do not obtain a direct deposit to observe their mail rigorously for the cardboard within the coming weeks.

Notice, in the event you moved, you may must inform the IRS and USPS of your new deal with.

Can I get direct deposit as a substitute?

If the IRS has your checking account data available, it is extra possible you’d get the cost by direct deposit as a substitute of an EIP card. Because the first stimulus checks have been despatched, there was larger effort to assist individuals who haven’t got financial institution accounts get one for this function. Listed here are methods you may be capable to assist get a second test quicker.

Will the IRS notify me that an EIP card is coming? 

With the primary stimulus funds, the IRS despatched a letter about your cash to your final identified deal with inside 15 days after the cost was made. The letter included data on how you bought the cash (test or direct deposit or EIP card), and how you can report it in the event you did not obtain the cost. However be careful: There have been a variety of stimulus test scams going round. Go to IRS.gov earlier than giving anybody your data to ensure your letter is reliable. 

What if my EIP card will get misplaced or destroyed?

With the primary playing cards, in the event you’ve misplaced or destroyed your EIP card, you possibly can request a free alternative by means of MetaBank Buyer Service. The alternative payment shall be waived the primary time. We anticipate the IRS do to one thing comparable this time.

You need not know your card quantity to request a alternative. Simply name 800-240-8100, and select the second choice from the primary menu, in response to the IRS web site. 

For extra, discover out in the event you’re certified for a second stimulus test and when you may anticipate a second stimulus cost

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