IRS adds info to COVID debit card envelopes to distinguish them from junk mail
Friday, January 08, 2021
When the Internal Revenue Service issued the first round of COVID-19 economic relief payments as debit cards last year, a lot of them ended up in trash cans.
Many folks thought the mailing was just another slick marketing attempt to get them to apply for an added credit card. They tossed those envelopes and the valuable relief cards they contained in the trash.
So that this next batch of approximately 8 million COVID relief debit cards now hitting (or at least heading to) mail boxes isn't mistaken for junk mail, the IRS has made changes to the envelope.
Clear envelope markings: The debit cards, issued by MetaBank and which could be loaded with as much as $600 per person, will arrive in U.S. Post Office boxes in the specially marked shown below.
The cards are still being delivered in standard, business-size envelopes. But the envelope now prominently displays the U.S. Department of the Treasury seal in the return address, which also notes "Economic Impact Payment Card."
Below that address block, you'll also see in red, bold-face type, the statement that it is:
INDENT "Not a bill or an advertisement. Important information about your Economic Impact Payment."
Check out the contents: Once you open the envelope, the EIP card inside will have the VISA logo and recipient's name on the front and card-issuer MetaBank®, N.A. on the back.
You also should find instructions on how to activate and use the debit card.
As with private sector debit cards, the COVID-19 EIP plastic payments can be used for online purchase or in stores anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.
You also can use the card to get cash in-network ATMs or transfer funds to a personal bank account without incurring any fees.
You can find more on this COVID-19 relief payment method at the Money Network (not IRS) EIP.com website.
Types of payments: The IRS reminds taxpayers that they might not get this second EIP in the same form as they got the first stimulus amounts created under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
So if you didn't get a direct deposit like you did last time, keep an eye on your snail mail box for a debit card.
Some of these second COVID-19 economic impact payments also are being issued as U.S. Treasury checks.
Delivery schedule: Also, according to the IRS, while the EIP debit cards are going to eligible recipients across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, those who live in the western part of the country generally are more likely to receive this latest round of payments as a VISA debit card.
And if you're getting antsy about your economic impact payment, you can check its status at the IRS' Get My Payment online tracking tool web page.
You also might find these items of interest:
- No bank account? Prepare to wait for COVID-19 cash
- Undeliverable COVID-19 payments offer another scam route
- COVID-19 economic relief debit cards are in the mail (first round; May 22, 2020)
|Coronavirus Caveat & More Information
In 2021, we all still are dealing with extraordinary circumstances,
both in our daily lives and when it comes to our taxes.
The COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to reduce its transmission
and protect ourselves and our families means that,
for the most part, we're focusing on just getting through these trying days.
But life as we knew it before the coronavirus will return,
along with our mundane tax matters.
Here's hoping that happens soon!
In the meantime, you can find more on the virus and its effects on our taxes
by clicking Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Taxes.
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