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If You Had Filing Fees Deducted From Your Tax Refund, You Will Receive a Paper Check Rebate

This article was written by in Taxes. 5 comments.

This has been noted on Consumerism Commentary many times in the last month. If you filed your taxes using third party software like TurboTax or H&R Block, were owed a tax refund, had your filing fees or tax preparation fees deducted from your refund, and qualified for an economic stimulus payment, then you will not receive your payment in the form of a direct deposit. You will receive a paper check, even if you entered your banking information when filing your taxes.

Some of the tax preparers did an insufficient job of explaining this to customers at the time of filing. Ellen, a Consumerism Commentary reader, notified me that TurboTax is reaching out to its customers to blame the IRS, explain the situation, and provide a schedule of payments that matches the schedule posted at Consumerism Commentary in March. Here’s the full text of the email sent by Bob Meighan, VP of Consumer Advocacy at TurboTax.

Dear Valued Customer,

We want to provide you with the most up-to-date information about the tax rebate to which you may be entitled. Recently, you may have received a letter from the IRS advising you when to expect your Economic Stimulus Payment (rebate). That IRS letter may have inadvertently left off some important information. Taxpayers who chose to have their tax preparation fees deducted from their federal tax refund will receive their tax rebate in the mail, not via direct deposit.

Our records show that you chose this payment option in TurboTax. As a result, the IRS has determined that you will receive your tax rebate in the mail. This may result in you receiving your rebate on a date later than expected.

This situation, while not unique to TurboTax, is understandably causing some concern and confusion. To help further clarify the situation, below is the most current IRS rebate payment processing schedule, as well as additional resources about the tax rebates.

I hope you find this information helpful. If you still have questions, the best source for the most up-to-date information is (see the “Rebate Payment Questions” link).

Bob Meighan
Vice President, TurboTax Customer Advocacy

Updated September 17, 2011 and originally published May 16, 2008.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar 1 Anonymous

The reason for this situation is that in order to have your tax prep fees deducted from your refund the tax prep company must open up a temporary account in your name with a bank they have a relationship with. When they receive the refund from the IRS, they keep their fees and then wire the money to your regular bank account. So, the IRS only has the bank information for the temporary account which has now been closed and therefore must mail the check. It certainly is not the fault of the IRS as TurboTax would have you believe.

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avatar 2 Anonymous

Hi Flexo,

Thanks for giving this a mention. This is the kind of thing that could be overlooked if people aren’t paying attention.



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avatar 3 Anonymous

I work in the call center of a huge bank four hours a day and this fact is making people crazy. Often I have to say it four or five times, it just won’t compute, you know? I’ll be glad when all the checks are issued and things calm down. Thanks for posting the info!

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avatar 4 Anonymous

It’s too bad the government didn’t explain this clearly and Turbotax had to!

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avatar 5 Anonymous

I was a victim of this as well. I was expecting to receive my income rebate last week. Not I have to wait until July 4th :(

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