If you get a debit card in the mail that says it is from the Internal Revenue Service, don’t toss it — it is not a scam, and you could be throwing away $600 or more.
The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service recently began sending approximately 8 million second Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) by prepaid debit card.
These EIP Cards, called Economic Impact Payment Cards, follow the millions of payments already made by direct deposit and the ongoing mailing of paper checks that are delivering the second round of Economic Impact Payments as rapidly as possible, according to the IRS in a news release on its website.
EIP Cards are being sent in a white envelope that prominently displays the U.S. Department of the Treasury seal. The EIP Card has the Visa name on the front of the card and the issuing bank name, MetaBank N.A., on the back of the card. Each mailing will include instructions on how to securely activate and use the EIP Card, the release says.
If you check Get My Payment on IRS.gov and it shows a date that your payment was mailed, you could receive either a paper check or debit card. Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service is sending payments out by prepaid debit card to speed delivery of the payments to as many people as soon as possible, the IRS says. The IRS does not determine who receives a prepaid debit card.
The amount on the card will vary, depending on how many people live in a household. Individuals can expect $600, while married couples filing jointly will receive $1,200, plus $600 for each qualifying child they had in 2020.
IRS and Treasury especially urge eligible people who don’t receive direct deposits to watch their mail carefully over the coming several weeks. Also, taxpayers should note that the form of payment for the second mailed EIP may be different from the first mailed EIP. Some people who received a paper check last time might receive a prepaid debit card this time, and some people who received a prepaid debit card last time may receive a paper check.
More information about these cards is available at EIPcard.com.
EIP Cards are safe, convenient and secure, and provide consumer protections, including certain protections against fraud, loss and other errors, according to the IRS news release.
EIP Cards are being issued to eligible recipients across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Residents in the western United States are generally more likely to receive an EIP Card, according to the release.