Tax-related bank products can be offered to your clients to assist them in paying for their tax preparation fees. When using tax-related bank products, your client will pay no upfront fees to have their return prepared. Rather, your preparation fees will automatically be deducted from the taxpayer's income tax refund and deposited into your bank account. The bank also has its own fees and they will deduct these from the refund before distributing the remainder to the taxpayer.
It's up to the taxpayer whether or not they wish to use a bank product. When finalizing their tax return, you will select whether or not to use a bank product when you mark the return for electronic filing. The additional fees for the bank product options will show on-screen so your client can know what to expect.
Of course, your client can choose to receive their refund directly from the IRS, either by check or direct deposit. These are the two e-file types that show no additional fees, and if the client decides not to use a bank product you will need to collect your preparation fees up front.
Preparing to Offer Bank Products
We strongly encourage getting your office set up to offer tax-related bank products as early as possible before the tax season to help avoid unnecessary delays at the beginning of the season. Follow these steps to ensure you are ready to offer tax-related bank products to your clients.
1. Become an Authorized e-file Provider
Before you can electronically file tax returns, you must apply to become an Authorized e-file Provider with the IRS. This process is facilitated by the IRS in three phases:
- Phase 1: Create an IRS e-services Account - Before you can begin the application process, you must apply and be approved for an e-services account with the IRS. The IRS may take several days to verify and approve your information, so it is important to plan ahead.
- Phase 2: Submit Your Application - After you are approved for e-services, you will be able to log into your account to fill out the online application to become an IRS e-file provider. Plan accordingly as it may take up to 45 days for the IRS to approve an Authorized e-file Provider application.
- Phase 3: Pass a Suitability Check - After you submit your application and any related documents, the IRS will conduct a suitability check on the firm and each person listed on your application as either a principal or responsible official. This may include a credit check, a tax compliance check, a criminal background check, and a check for prior non-compliance with IRS e-file requirements. Once approved, you will get an acceptance letter from the IRS with your Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN).
2. Enroll Through Your TaxSlayer Pro Account Hub
You will enroll with one of the above banks through the Bank Product Info Tab in your TaxSlayer Pro Account Hub. To do this, go to www.taxslayerpro.com and select the blueLOGINbutton. Enter your user name and password and select LOG IN. On the left side of the screen, select Bank Product Information and fill in all required information. The information that you enter will be transmitted to the bank for verification.
The application process varies with each bank, so you may need to contact the bank directly if you have any specific questions. When your enrollment is complete, you will receive bank supplies directly from the bank.
3. Bank Application Acceptance
The bank will send an acknowledgement indicating whether or not your bank application was accepted or rejected. Questions regarding bank application rejects can be answered by contacting the bank directly:
|Santa Barbara Tax Products Group||1.800.779.7228|
Configuring Your TaxSlayer Pro Software to Offer Bank Products
After TaxSlayer Pro receives verification of your enrollment from the bank, you can configure your software to offer bank products. How you configure depends on whether you use desktop TaxSlayer Pro or cloud-based TaxSlayer ProWeb software.
TaxSlayer Pro desktop
From the Quick Menu of TaxSlayer Pro select:
- Electronic Filing / Bank Setup
- Bank Setup Menu
- Bank Used for Bank Products - Select the bank to use.
From the Welcome Screen after logging in select:
- Office Setup
- Selected Bank - Select the bank to use from the dropdown menu.
Changing To A Different Bank
You can apply with any of the banks throughout much of the year. Here's the process:
- Log in to your Account Hub at the TaxSlayer Pro website.
- Before working on the bank application, it's a good idea to select the Company Information tab and verify that all the information showing there is correct.
- In the left side menu, select the Bank Product Information tab and submit an application to one or more banks. (Caveat: Since Refund Advantage and EPS are both owned by Pathward, if you are approved with one you cannot apply with the other.)
- If the bank notifies you that you have been approved, change the bank in your program configuration.
If you need help with any of the above steps to get your office ready to offer bank products, please call your sales manager for assistance.