A bank product is a disbursement option for your client’s tax refund from federal and state agencies. It’s also known as a Refund Transfer or Settlement Solution.
TPG is also known as the Santa Barbara Tax Products Group. TPG became a Green Dot company in 2014. TPG serves consumers nationwide with tax-related financial products and services that provide value, are fairly priced and satisfy consumer needs.
EPS, started in 2009, is one of the leading banks in the industry. Over the past 10 years, EPS has processed over $20 billion in financial transactions. EPS is known for offering the lowest cost of refund transfers.
TIP: Process your bank enrollment for the next year in October.
How? Initially sign up through UltimateTax,
then complete signup and compliance tests on the bank's website.
Bank enrollment for the next year usually begins in October. You will have to complete signup on the banks sites and complete their compliance test.
Have special support needs? Learn more about UltimateTax Enterprise
*Must use TPG with our software to qualify for Free Software and Rebate Program
A bank product is a solution that tax preparers can offer their clients. It helps clients get their refund faster, and pay off your tax preparation fees without any difficulties. When your client chooses the bank product, your client can get their tax refund quicker (minus your tax preparation fee and other associated fees). Tax preparers can withhold a part of your client’s refund to pay for your service and the associated fees.
What are the associated fees?
Transmitter fees are paid to the company that develops the tax software program. Many software companies have these fees on every return even if they do not have a bank product. As a tax preparer, you can only provide bank products when it’s made through a professional tax software program.
Technology fees are the costs of programming the tax software system. It also covers any system resources available to process the applications for the bank products.
Service Bureau Fees are charges from a third-party company that offer a level of service that appeals to their clients. Many times, service bureaus have a smaller number of clients and are much easier to get ahold of during tax season. Service bureaus also pass software savings on to their clients.
Bank fees come from specialized banks or processing companies that put together programs for tax preparers and their clients. UltimateTax recommends working with Santa Barbara Tax Products Group (TPG) & EPS. Both banks have been in the industry for many years, and are stable and secure providers of this service. They provide the best bank products for tax professionals. Reminder: Holding fees out of the client’s refund is illegal if not done through a service provider.
Watch This Video!
We've offered TPGs, tax-related products to our clients since 1995 and it's a big part of why we have grown. Our clients depend on their tax refund to survive in these tough economic times. And these taxpayers need stability and a tax preparer they can trust.
Here are some tips for growing your tax preparation business.
As you get ready for tax season, make sure your office is clean and your front windows are not cluttered with advertising. Sometimes less is more.
Make sure your lobby is inviting and you have a place for children to play.
Each workstation is a profit center and you want your office to be inviting and a place people want to visit. Make sure you have your workstation ready to show your clients the great products you have to offer from TPG.
Many taxpayers are aware of tax-related products and you want to show them that you offer the best available products and services.
As tax season begins and you finish preparing a client's return and their expecting a refund, offer your clients the option to pay your fees with their refund.
Tax Preparer: Great news! You're receiving a tax refund. Since you're receiving a refund, you can use that to pay for today's services so you don't have to pay anything out-of-pocket. Is that something you're interested in?
Customer: Sure. How's that going to work?
Tax Preparer: With refund transfer, all fees are taken out of your refund, including today's services and the balance is yours. So there's nothing to pay out-of-pocket.
Customer: That sounds great. How do I get my money?
Your clients trust you with their taxes and they can trust you with refund options and this is what sets you apart from your competition. Taxpayers can come back and pick up a check printed from your office or they can save time and check cashing fees by loading their refund on a Green Dot tax time edition Visa card.
Tax Preparer: The easiest option we have is issuing money on a Green Dot card. I can give it to you now and you'll receive an email when the money is loaded onto the card. You can access your money the moment it's loaded onto the card.
Customer: Okay. How soon do I get my refund?
The refund delays created by the PATH Act creates challenges for clients that need money and need it now.
Tax Preparer: Because you're qualified to receive earned income tax credit, the IRS is required to hold your refund until February 15th, due to the PATH Act Law.
Customer: I don't usually have to wait and I don't know if I can afford to wait until February 15th.
While this may be a difficult conversation for some tax professionals, if you opt into the Fast Cash Advance Program, you can offer taxpayers a solution with a free tax time advance. This may be the single most effective tool in growing your business. Taxpayers are approved upon the IRS acceptance of the return.
Tax Preparer: I can offer a free cash advance and you can receive money sometimes weeks before your refund is ready. Most of my clients are approved and the advance is issued by either check or Green Dot card.
Finally, have fun. Taxpayers want to use a tax professional they like and a tax professional who enjoys what they do. On behalf of TPG and Latino Tax Professionals Association, we hope you found this video helpful and we look forward to helping you grow your tax preparation business.
Tax preparer benefits:
Both clients and tax preparers get a lot of benefits from offering bank products. Clients get to receive their tax refunds sooner. Tax preparers get paid sooner, too. Shortly after you finish preparing your clients’ taxes and confirm their tax refunds, you can offer a bank product so they can receive their refund on-the-day. Tax refunds are processed within seven to 21 days, depending on how your client chooses to eFile.
If your client chooses a bank product, there’s no need to trouble them for the payment of your tax preparation services as well. Instead of asking your client to pay you, you can offer to withhold the payment for your services out of the refund they will be getting.
Faster payment turnover is not the only upside to offering bank products. With fast tax solutions, you can guarantee higher client satisfaction which can earn you more clients in return. It’s no wonder most tax preparers get professional tax software with bank products included!
You can also earn more with the high-volume of bank products sold! With UltimateTax and TPG, you can get UltimateCash, aside from FREE tax software and program rebates. If you get 50 or more bank products, UltimateTax will start paying you for every tax refund you do moving forward.
Clients who need other financial solutions may choose to use bank products. Tax refunds take a long time to get, bank products let clients manage their refunds quickly and hassle-free.
Bank products are not for everyone. As a tax preparer, you must be the one to identify if a bank product is what your client needs. Part of your responsibility is to find products that will meet your client's needs. Do not assume that your clients would not like a bank product as a solution to meet their financial needs as you might miss out on opportunities to better serve your clients.
However, you also have to recognize that there is a misconception about bank products in the tax industry. Others see bank products as a scam to clients into paying a lot of "hidden fees." This is not the case. Bank products are a legitimate financial solution for clients that prefer to get their tax refunds sooner than later.
Despite the negative misconception on bank products, there are still a lot of clients that need and seek out this solution. So, it’s better to have bank products available in your mix of product offerings. Doing so can provide you with more clients and additional revenue.
Choose UltimateTax as your professional tax software provider.
Select a bank provider: TPG or EPS
Complete the application process.
Finish through the bank’s compliance program
Once your application is approved, sign a contract with UltimateTax and the bank. Start offering bank products!
You must be preapproved to offer bank products. Don’t worry, the process for being approved is simple.
First, you must pick your professional tax software provider, UltimateTax. It’s good business sense to get tax software with bank products already available.
Then, you can select a bank provider. UltimateTax recommends Santa Barbara Tax Product Group (TPG) or EPS. Both banks are highly reliable and reputable for doing business for more than a decade. Plus, TPG and EPS provide good deals for Tax Preparers who offer their products.
Another advantage of being with TPG and EPS is they are part of the six main providers of bank product services. It’s best to stick with them because they provide you with the correct compliance and current products. They can also provide your tax office with a tax time loan.
Next, you need to fill in and submit an application. The bank will reach out to you via email once they’ve received your application. You will then get instructions on how to complete the process. FYI, the bank will ask for information related to your tax business and background information. As a tax preparer, your business must be legitimate and must pass all compliance checks.
Once you pass and you’re accepted into the program, you can finish setting up your account. You will need to provide banking information for where you can receive your fees.
You will also enter into an agreement with UltimateTax and your preferred bank. After signing the agreement, you will do compliance training, which takes about 20-30 minutes to complete. The compliance training brings you up-to-date with new regulations. It helps to protect your business and your clients. This compliance training is required to be taken annually.
It’s best to process your bank product options before the start of tax season so you can immediately offer bank products to your clients.
Step 1:Prepare your client’s taxes. Check if they are eligible for a tax refund. If yes, you may offer a bank product as a disbursement option.
Step 2:If your client chooses a bank product, your client must sign Due Diligence forms, which is a part of the 7615 Guidance.
Step 3:Ask your client to choose whether to get their refund via check, direct deposit, or debit card. If your client chooses a debit card, they can get their refund on the day. Checks are typically released the day before a direct deposit would be available in the client’s bank account.
Step 4:Fill out the bank product application in your professional tax software, UltimateTax. Print the documents and have your client sign all of all the documents.
Step 5:After your client agrees and signs ALL documents, you can proceed to file their tax return.
You can offer tax refund advances, too. But first, you have to qualify to offer this service to your client. Offering loans is a great marketing tool to get more clients. UltimateTax’s partner banks Santa Barbara Tax Product Group (TPG) and EPS can provide your clients with up to $6,000. It’s also available as soon as January 2, 2020.
Depending on the loan advance that you can offer, it may cost your client additional money. Be sure to understand the options available to your clients. It’s essential that you can explain those options clearly when you present it to them.
Having tax time advances to your product listings is a great way to market to current and future clients. It shows that you can offer access to their refunds sooner, giving your customers an opportunity to browse through loan options and decide whether to take it or not.
Bank providers do underwrite. Both TPG and EPS are capable of offering credit to your clients. Banks will do background checks on you and your office before you can qualify to offer advances. If you have offered bank products in the past, they will look at your volumes and funding from past years.
If you are new to the industry, then EPS is your best option. It’s a great bank provider for first-time tax preparers. You can offer no additional cost for loan amounts of $500 and $1,000 if they opt for getting their loan on a prepaid card.
Increase your client satisfaction by providing a faster refund option. Your clients wouldn’t have to wait for the IRS to process their tax refund by mail or deposit. They can get their refund as early as the same day.
When you fund more than 50 bank products with UltimateTax and TPG, you get to earn rebates with UltimateCash.
Save operation costs when you fund more than 30 bank products with UltimateTax and TPG. You can get your tax business’s main tool for free by providing more financial solutions to your clients.
You may or may not charge an additional fee on a bank product. Many offices charge between $0 to $40 for document preparation fees. Additionally, many software companies may offer reduced rates on your tax preparation software or offer rebates based on how many bank products you may offer.
UltimateTax offers free professional tax software if you choose TPG as your bank provider and fund more than 30 bank products. If you fund more than 50 bank products, you’ll also get rebates. The savings you have on your free professional tax software and the earnings you get on rebates work towards getting you more profit.
If you choose EPS, you get lower costs for their bank products. You can choose to charge high documentation fees without it being too heavy for your clients. Or you can choose to provide low bank product costs and get more clients. You can decide whether you earn more from high charges or high volume.
For example, a typical tax office that offers bank products utilizes bank products in approximately 25% of their returns. Meaning if they do 400 returns, 100 of those are done as a bank product. This provides an expanded offering to your clients.
Again, bank products may not fit your current clients. They may, however, bring you in a new clientele that you didn't have in the past. If you are currently not offering bank products, you should at least consider offering it if you want to grow your business.
UltimateTax highly recommends two of the most reliable banks for the success of your tax preparation business. Together, they provide the best bank products for tax professionals.
Founded in 1991, Santa Barbara Tax Products Group (TPG) became a Green Dot company in 2014. TPG serves consumers nationwide with tax-related financial products and services that provide value, are fairly priced and satisfy consumer need. TPG offers tax-related financial products through a network of tax preparation franchises, independent tax professionals and online tax preparation providers. TPG is located in San Diego, California.
UltimateTax has been a partner with TPG since 2006. The fees with TPG are $39.95 for the bank fee. Other fees include fees from the transmitters and service bureau. Our average fee for a refund transfer for the past few years was $86.95 per funded bank product. Additionally, based on volumes your tax office can receive rebates and free software.
Started in 2009, EPS has processed over $20 billion in financial transactions from their headquarters in Easton, PA. They are proud to say that they have assembled the best development and support teams to bring you innovative and low-cost payment products. Recently the merged with Meta Bank and became part of the MetaTax platform.
|TPG All-In Value||EPS Lowest Cost|
|Total Fees (for your Clients)||$86.95||$59.95|
|Available Rebates?||Yes (after 50 funded bank products)||No|
|Free UltimateTax Software Next Year? (Value: $888)||Yes (after 30 funded bank products)||No|
|Taxpayer Advances?||Up to $6,000||Up to $6,000|