The Ultimate Guide to Tax Professional Bank Products

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Welcome to the ultimate guide on leveraging bank products for tax preparers. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about bank products and why they can be a game-changer for your tax business. We’ve got you covered, from client benefits to the application process to the best bank products offered by TaxSlayer Pro.

What is a bank product for tax preparers?

Bank products are tools that allow tax preparers to offer a wider variety of options for paying your fee and receiving their refund. Refund transfers, the most popular bank products, allow clients to pay for your services directly from their tax refunds. When they opt to use a bank product, the IRS will send their refund directly to the refund settlement bank, which will then disperse your fee to you and the remaining refund to the client. Some bank products allow clients to receive their refunds in advance as a loan or pre-ack loan, sometimes with little to no interest.

Why tax preparers should use bank products

Bank products are a win-win for clients and tax professionals. Here’s why:

Client benefits

Bank products offer several advantages to your clients. Clients can pay your fees directly from their refunds, eliminating the need for upfront payments. Because clients don’t have to worry about paying for your services upfront, bank products make tax preparation services accessible to a broader audience. Some bank products also provide clients with the option to receive their refunds in advance as a loan, reducing the waiting time.

Tax preparer benefits

For tax preparers, bank products help increase your potential client base, attracting clients who prefer the convenience of paying from their refunds. They also streamline payments and simplify your fee collection process with automated deductions from refunds. Bank products can offer you an edge in a competitive industry, helping to set you apart from other tax professionals who require upfront payment.

Want to learn more about how bank products can benefit your clients and your business? Download our whitepaper, Bank Products for Tax Preparers, for further details.

How to use bank products to grow your tax business

Once you decide to offer bank products, be sure to leverage them to attract a broader client base. Thanks to refund transfers and refund advances, you can advertise no upfront fees and the earliest refunds possible. These are huge selling points to many clients, helping you stand out in a competitive market.

Bank products can help with other forms of organic business growth. As the TaxSlayer Pro experts explain in this video on bank products for tax pros, bank products can increase your client base and free up your time. When you have the flexibility to see clients who can’t pay upfront, you automatically increase your potential clients. And when you aren’t spending time chasing down payments, you improve your cash flow and leave time to see more clients.

Step-by-step guide on setting up bank products

If you use professional tax preparation software with bank products such as TaxSlayer Pro, setting up bank products is simple. If you’re already an authorized IRS e-file Provider, your first step will be to apply to the bank of your choice through your TaxSlayer Pro Account Hub.

Once you’ve logged in, go to the “Bank Product Information Tab.” Simply fill in the required information, and it will be transmitted to the bank for verification.

Once you’re approved, it’s time to configure your TaxSlayer Pro software to offer bank products. The configuration process differs depending on whether you use desktop TaxSlayer Pro or the cloud-based TaxSlayer ProWeb software.

For TaxSlayer Pro Desktop:

  • From the Quick Menu of TaxSlayer Pro, select:
    • Configuration
    • Electronic Filing / Bank Setup
    • Bank Setup Menu
    • Bank Used for Bank Products – Select the bank you wish to use.

For TaxSlayer Pro Web:

  • From the Welcome Screen after logging in, select:
    • Configuration
    • Office Setup
    • Selected Bank – Choose the bank to use from the dropdown menu.

Be sure to make this part of your pre-tax-season checklist so that you are ready to go once tax season starts. If you need help with any of the steps above, you can reach out to the TaxSlayer Pro support team or check out our detailed support articles specific to your chosen bank.

Should you offer bank products?

Since bank products are usually simple and free to set up, we think every tax preparer can benefit from them. Even if most of your clients can pay out-of-pocket, having bank products in place allows you to offer more options and serve clients who can’t pay upfront.

That being said, bank products may not be ideal for every client, particularly in these circumstances:

  • Minimal Refund: If a client’s refund is minimal, the fees associated with bank products may not be justified.
  • Tax Liability: If a client isn’t receiving a refund, bank products aren’t helpful for them this tax season.

Bank products offered by TaxSlayer Pro

Because we know every tax office has different needs, TaxSlayer Pro partners with a range of refund settlement banks, so you can choose the bank and products that are tailored to your clients’ needs:

Refund Advantage

  • Quick and easy refund transfers
  • Interest-free and cost-free refund advance loans of $250, $500, and $1,000
  • 36% APR on advances between $1,250 and $6,000
  • Pre-Ack loans

TPG (Santa Barbara Tax Products Group)

  • Quick and easy refund transfers
  • Refund Advance Loans of up to $7,000 available January 2 – March 15
  • Green Dot Prepaid Visa Cards let clients walk out of your office with their refund
  • Zero ERO fees when a client chooses a Green Dot Prepaid Visa Card to receive their refund advance loan (Note: this only applies to post-ack loans)
  • Pre-Ack loans

EPS (Electronic Payment Systems)

  • Quick and easy refund transfers
  • Interest-free and cost-free refund advance loans of $250, $500, and $1,000
  • 36% APR on advances between $1,250 and $6,000
  • High approval rates with new loan structure
  • No-cost options for tax professionals that eliminate the marketing fees you would usually pay for in-season refund advances
  • Pre-Ack loans

Refundo

  • Quick and easy refund transfers
  • Refund advance loans with over 70% approval rates and approval in as little as 15 minutes
  • Print refund advance checks in your office
  • New user-friendly dashboard for easier user experience

Choosing which bank to partner with

As you can see, all refund settlement banks offer refund transfers and refund advances, but they differ in their approval rates, options for dispersing refunds to clients, interest rates for refund advances, and the fees they charge tax professionals.

If you want to offer your clients interest-free refund advances, Refund Advantage or EPS are great options. If you want to let clients walk out of your office with a refund advance check or prepaid card, Refundo and TPG make that simple. We recommend looking into each bank’s product offerings and fee structure before you make your decision.

Want some guidance? Contact TaxSlayer Pro to explore which bank product aligns with your business goals.

Fees associated with bank products

Before you start offering bank products this tax season, let’s break down the key fees associated with bank products so that you and your clients know what to expect:

Transmitter fees

Transmitter fees are charges associated with transmitting electronic tax returns that use a bank product to receive the refund. These fees cover the cost of securely transmitting tax return data to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. TaxSlayer Pro automatically collects this fee from the client’s refund.

Technology fees

Like transmitter fees, technology fees are fees charged by TaxSlayer Pro when a client uses a bank product. The base technology fee is automatically collected from the client’s refund. These fees are for the use of software and technology platforms that facilitate the processing of bank products such as secure portals.

Bank fees

Bank fees are charges imposed by the financial institution offering the bank product. They can vary among different refund settlement banks and cover services such as refund transfers and refund advances.

Tax preparation fees

Tax preparation fees are the fees you charge for your services. With bank products, clients can pay your fee, along with any other associated fees, directly from their refund, minimizing upfront expenses.

It’s essential to transparently communicate these fees to your clients to ensure they understand the cost structure associated with their bank product. Be sure to educate your clients about the convenience and benefits of using bank products, such as the ability to pay tax preparer fees directly from their refunds or to receive refunds in advance.

Learn more about how technology and transmitter fees work with TaxSlayer Pro, and review our supported bank products’ websites for more on bank fees.

Read also: How Much Are Tax Preparers Charging?

When should you offer bank products in the process?

Once you’ve decided to offer bank products to your clients, the question becomes when should you offer bank products to your clients? We recommend bringing them up at two key points: your initial consultations or interactions with your clients and when you discuss your fees.

During your initial consultation with your client, you can discuss payment options for your services and mention the convenience of paying directly from their refund and receiving refunds in advance with bank products. Emphasize the benefits, such as no upfront costs, faster refunds, and the simplicity of the process. This early conversation sets the stage for client awareness and consideration.

When discussing your tax preparation fees, be transparent about any fees associated with bank products. Provide a clear breakdown of the costs involved and ask if they would prefer to pay your fee upfront or pay with their refund using a bank product.

For more questions on getting started with bank products, our Bank Products for Tax Preparers Guide has you covered.

In conclusion

Incorporating bank products into your tax preparation services is a win-win. They offer your clients convenience and affordable payment options, and they help your business stay competitive and attract more clients. To take full advantage of everything bank products have to offer, explore TaxSlayer Pro’s range of bank products, choose the one that best suits your needs, and head to your TaxSlayer Pro Account Hub to apply today!