Serving unbanked and underserved consumers has been an important focus for the River City Bank Tax Division for nearly 30 years and we understand the importance and the need for refund transfer products. Offering financial services to taxpayers is a key component to an EROs business and adds significant value to the tax preparation experience. Maybe these customers have not had the opportunity to utilize traditional financial services in the past or simply have chosen not to. Nevertheless, these customers need and greatly benefit from the advantages that refund transfer products can offer. With the ever-growing, complex tax code and added tax filing requirements, professional preparation services are critical for taxpayers. By partnering with a reputable and regulated financial institution, EROs can provide preparation, e-filing and other tax related services to these customers while allowing convenient fee collection options to ease the burden of paying out of pocket costs associated with these services. EROs will gain the added benefit of knowing they will receive their fees daily for funded tax returns directly to their designated bank account. No more collecting fees after season or turning customers away who cannot pay.
Refund Transfers - Offering clients professional services without the burden of having to pay tax preparation fees when they file is easy with a Refund Transfer. River City Bank will open a special use account for receipt of federal and/or state tax refunds and from this account, will deduct any fees authorized by the taxpayer, distribute these fees accordingly and will release the proceeds of the client's refund using a disbursement method of their choice.
Freedom Advance - Whether taxpayers are impacted by the PATH Act or not, some need money before their refund is released. That’s where a Freedom Advance from River City Bank can help. Freedom Advance is a loan available to qualified taxpayers which is later deducted from their Federal or State refund. There is no recourse on a Freedom Advance and approved loans are available within 24 hours of IRS acceptance of the federal tax return. When the customer’s Federal or State refund is received by the bank, the balance of the loan is deducted and the remainder is immediately released using the same disbursement option chosen for the Freedom Advance. There are no collections or recourse on taxpayers whose Freedom Advance does not get fully funded.
EROs must be approved to participate in River City Bank’s Tax Division Program to be eligible to offer the Freedom Advance.
A Freedom Advance of $1,750 is available to eligible taxpayers who have a qualifying minimum refund amount of $2,600. Advance approval is also based on other eligibility factors.
There is no fee or interest assessed by the bank or by the ERO to taxpayers who receive a Freedom Advance. Taxpayers are not required to obtain a Refund Transfer in order to apply for a Freedom Advance and taxpayers opting for an Advance without a Refund Transfer can receive their Advance by direct deposit or ELEVATE Prepaid Visa® Card only.
EROs will pay a fee to the bank for each approved Freedom Advance and the bank prohibits this or any fee from being passed on to the taxpayer for the Freedom Advance. Fees for approved Freedom Advances will be deducted from tax preparation fees.
River City Bank EROs have four convenient disbursement options to offer their customers:
Bank Check - This option allows customers the safety and security of returning to their tax preparer’s office to receive their refund by check which is printed by the ERO on bank-provided check stock. River City Bank also offers many nationwide options which provide hassle-free and affordable check cashing locations. At the ERO’s request, River City Bank can also provide indemnification letters to establish arrangements with local banks for additional check cashing options.
Direct Deposit - For customers with an existing bank account, River City Bank will send the customer’s refund transfer directly to their account.
- Allows customers to pick up their Refund Transfer at any Walmart location in the US and Puerto Rico. The customer pays only $5.30 which is conveniently deducted from their refund. Once the customer’s refund is received from the IRS or State and processed by River City Bank, an email confirmation including a reference code will be provided to the customer. This code will be used to pick up their cash at any Walmart location, in the Customer Service Desk or Walmart MoneyCenter area. This option is available for tax refunds up to $7,500.
ELEVATE Prepaid Visa® Card - Customers may opt to have their refund transfer disbursed to a prepaid debit card. The process is easy; the card is assigned to the customer when their return is filed and funds are loaded to the card upon receipt by River City Bank. Customers receive all the great benefits the card has to offer including free online account access and free text message alerts. This excellent option alleviates return trips to the office, lost/stolen checks and check verification issues.