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November 30, 2011



Hello, I found your blog while Googleing whether the IRS would be offering debit cards for refunds again this year.

I think you're right on as to why the pilot effort failed. I heard about in about February of last year and I know people in my family who would've used it had they known about it earlier. Some of them even received an invitation letter from the IRS. Unfortunately, those letters came about mid-March. That was about two months after most of them had already filed their returns.

Thankfully, I've been doing the returns of most of my family members eloctronically for the past few years, so they no longer are being ripped off by RAL's like they used to be. But, still, I had to persuade most of them to file this way instead of going for the almost instant refunds they were used to.

For the ones that don't have bank accounts they usually get their checks within three to four weeks after I file their return. For those few with bank accounts they usually will get them in about two weeks exactly.

Most of them depend on their refunds to pay off things they've been trying to put off for the previous year, or just to not have to worry about making ends meet for a few months like they usually do the rest of the year.

These are often the most needy and vulnerable people in our country. I really wish the IRS would re-try this program in the future and advertise it a lot sooner and try to make it as easy as possible to participate in and receive refunds this way.

Thanks for both your blog posts about this.

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    A reader should seek advice from an independent tax adviser with respect to the information on this blog based on the reader’s particular circumstances. This advice is intended to be general information and cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by the IRS regarding the transaction or matters discussed here.
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