Before you start:
- Before you can begin e-filing returns containing a Pay-by-Refund bank product, you must have completed your enrollment with TPG. See here for details on enrolling in Pay-by-Refund and making sure your enrollment status.
- Pay-by-Refund is only available on current year tax returns.
- For a return to be eligible for a Pay-by-Refund bank product, it must meet the following criteria:
- The return must have a refund larger than the preparer fees and bank fees.
- The return must be filed electronically.
- The Pay-by-Refund application must be signed by the taxpayer before e-filing the return.
When you enroll to offer Pay-by-Refund with TPG you are automatically opted in for TPG's Auto Collect feature. See more here.
Table of contents:
When will the taxpayer receive their refund?
Pay-by-Refund isn't a loan against the refund. The IRS or state tax agency needs to first release the funds to the bank before the taxpayer will receive their refund. The IRS issues most refunds within 21 days; however it's possible the tax return may require additional review and could take longer.
When IRS or state tax funding has been received, TPG releases the funds starting at 2:30 PM Pacific time. It can take an additional 1-2 hours to process and for the disbursement records to reach your tax software.
What does Pay-by-Refund cost?
The base fee for Pay-by-Refund is $64.90. This includes a $44.95 pay by refund application fee and a technology fee of $19.95. Starting in tax year 2019, TPG will be collecting an additional Document Processing Fee. More details can be found in your TPG user manual.
The technology fee includes the cost of programming specific Settlement Solution Provider software and communication protocols, as well as mandated security testing. This fee will be taken out of the taxpayer's refund along with the bank fee. The fee is an industry-wide standard across all professional tax preparation software.
How do I request Pay-by-Refund for the taxpayer?
If you signed up to offer a Refund advance loan the taxpayer can apply a refund advance loan for individual returns. TPG’s Fast Cash Advances program for refund advance loans eligible up to $500 and $2,000. These loans are free to the taxpayer and cost the preparer $39.95. This fee can be waived through a $39.95 rebate at the end of tax season when the loan is disbursed and IRS-funded on a prepaid Green Dot card. For your client to use Pay-by-Refund, the following steps must be completed before the return is electronically filed.
- Complete the client's tax return and clear any error messages.
- Make sure the return is marked for e-file.
- Enter all preparer fees on the Client Specific Billing Options worksheet.
- Open the Federal Information Worksheet.
- Scroll down to Part VIII - Direct Deposit and Refund Disbursement Options.
- In the Refund Advance (apply for an advance of the IRS refund) section check the Check to select Refund Advance checkbox.
- Select the QuickZoom button for the Santa Barbara Tax Products Group Processing Worksheet.
- In State Pay-by-Refund Option section check Yes if you would like a state refund transfer to be added to the Pay-by-Refund.
- State Pay-by-Refund can only be e-filed if a federal return is being processed with Pay-by-Refund as well.
- Pick the Disbursement Method that your taxpayer is asking for.
- Complete all other required fields.
- Once the return is completed, e-file the return.
How do I check the status of the Pay-by-Refund request?
There are two ways of checking the Pay-by-Refund status.
Check for IRS funding on TPG's web page:
You can check to see if the IRS has funded the refund directly on TPG's website. Simply sign in to TPG's taxpayer portal using the information from your client's return.
Check the status through your ProSeries Software:
- Open ProSeries.
- Go to the Pay-by-Refund HomeBase View.
- Select the client's return.
- From the E-File menu, choose Pay-by-Refund, then Tax Products Group (TPG), then Update Selected Acknowledgments.
- Select OK.
- ProSeries will now download the most current status from the Intuit Electronic Filing Server.
How to review Reject Details for Pay-by-Refund
To easily view rejection details for a bank application, we have provided details in the Pay-by-Refund HomeBase View.
To view reject details:
- Change your HomeBase View to Pay-by-Refund.
- Find the Next Steps column.
- The record will show a View Reject Details hyperlink, click the link.
- The Pay-by-Refund Reject Details screen will explain what needs to be done before resubmitting the bank application.
- Once corrections have been made, the bank application for this return can be resubmitted. Go to E-File ⮕ Resubmit Bank Application...
What does the Status mean?
- Awaiting Authorization...You haven't received Pay-by-Refund authorization from Tax Products Group yet.
- Ready to Print...You received Pay-by-Refund authorization from Tax Products Group, but you haven't printed the taxpayer's check yet.
- Printed...You printed the taxpayer's check.
- Stopped...A Stop Payment order has been issued against the taxpayer's check, and a new authorization has been requested.
- Cleared by Bank...The taxpayer's check has cleared through Tax Products Group.
- Printed by Bank...Tax Products Group printed the taxpayer's check.
- Stopped by Bank...Tax Products Group stopped the Pay-by-Refund authorization.
- Voided...The check was voided. (This status can appear in reports, but it won't appear in HomeBase)
- Awaiting Deposit...Tax Products Group hasn't deposited the taxpayer's refund yet.
- Deposited by Bank...Tax Products Group has deposited the taxpayer's refund.
- Unable to Deposit...Tax Products Group can't deposit the taxpayer's refund because there's a problem with the taxpayer's bank account. TPG printed and mailed a check to the taxpayer.
Why does the TPG Bank Products status show my client as Awaiting Authorization?
Starting in tax year 2020, ProSeries Professional and ProSeries Basic no longer have the ability to print checks from within the program. Checks are printed from TPG's web page. This section only applies to checks for tax year 2019 and prior.
Tax Product Group (TPG) reports the check should be Ready to Print for a Pay-By-Refund client, but the status column still says Awaiting Authorization.
Why is this happening?
In ProSeries, check print authorizations for your client's tax refunds are often received automatically when you submit new electronic returns. However, in some cases, the status could fail to be retrieved due to interruptions in the transmission and require you to manually request the print authorization record (Ready to Print status).
If your client displays Awaiting Authorization and you expect a Ready to Print status (or similar), you should first make sure that the client's refund has been issued. The refund must be direct deposited with your Pay-By-Refund provider before a Ready to Print status is made available to ProSeries.
Determining if the tax refund was issued:
- Confirm the taxpayer's refund has been direct deposited using the IRS Where's My Refund? page.
- Visit the Tax Products Group website and sign in to your account. You may then use the reports available on the TPG website to determine whether your client's tax refund has been received and is Ready to Print.
Retrieving the Ready to Print status in ProSeries:
- Open ProSeries.
- Go to the TPG Bank Products HomeBase view.
- For ProSeries Basic, go to the Bank Product Clients tab.
- Highlight the taxpayer(s) that are Awaiting Authorization but should have a Ready to Print status.
- From the E-File menu, select Pay-By-Refund and choose select Tax Products Group (TPG).
- Select Update Selected Acknowledgments...
- Click OK.
If the client has been issued a check print authorization by TPG, the authorization should be retrieved by ProSeries and the status will change from Awaiting Authorization to Ready to Print.
How do I setup my check printer and print the taxpayers check?
The process for printing checks in ProSeries has changed. Starting in tax year 2020 both ProSeries Professional and ProSeries Basic users will need to use TPG's web portal to print taxpayer checks.
To print checks:
- Open ProSeries.
- From the E-file menu, choose Pay-by-Refund then Tax Products Group and Website.
- If you have not yet printed checks from TPG's web portal before go to the E-file menu, choose Pay-by-Refund then Tax Products Group and How to Print Checks.
- Login to TPG's web portal.
- Follow the TPG instructions to print checks.
- You can access the online check printing instructions here.
How do I run Pay-by-Refund reports?
Starting in ProSeries 2020 reports can now be accessed directly through TPG's web portal, allowing you to access them from any computer. For instructions on running these reports see How do I run reports?
To run Pay-by-Refund reports in ProSeries Professional 2019 and prior:
- Open ProSeries to the TPG Bank Product HomeBase View.
- Determine who you would like to run the report on.
- If you want to run a report for all clients, no specific file should be highlighted.
- If you want to run a report for a specific client, highlight that client.
- If you want to run a report for multiple clients, hold down the CTRL key and highlight multiple clients.
- From the E-File menu, choose Electronic Filing, Pay-By-Refund, Tax Products Group (TPG) and then Pay-By-Refund Reports.
- Select the report you would like to run.
- In the Create Report For section choose one of the options below:
- All Bank Proudct Reports - if you would like to run the report for all Clients in the Bank Product Clients HomeBase.
- Selected Bank Products Reports - if you would like to run the report on only the clients you selected in Step 2.
- Customized Bank Products Records Selection - If you choose this option you would need to enter further details about your Query on the Electronic Filing Reports Dialog box.
- It is recommended to now click on Preview to run a Print Preview of the report. This will allow you to review the report before printing to ensure this is the data you want.
- Click Print to print the report to the default windows printer.
My firm is part of a service bureau, how do I edit those fees?
If your firm isn't part of a service bureau, this section will not apply to your company. Only if you are part of a service bureau should you proceed:
- From the Tools menu, select Options.
- On the left side of the screen choose Service Bureau Options.
- While on the Service Bureau Options screen press and hold down the CTRL key, press and hold down the Shift key, and press and release the S key. This three-part keystroke will enable the Service Bureau Information fields.