With tax refund delays, a Refund Advance could help

January 04, 2018 : Diamond Lambert

Did you know If you are one of the millions of taxpayers who claim credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), the IRS must hold your entire refund until February? What if there was a way to get money faster? With a Refund Advance* at H&R Block, you could get money the day you file.  It’s a no interest loan that is repaid from your tax refund. That’s money you could receive sooner to pay bills or unexpected expenses.

“How much does it cost to apply?”

Refund Advance is a loan offered at 0% APR with no loan fees.

“What’s the criteria for approval?”

To apply for a Refund Advance, you must pass the lender’s eligibility criteria (including expecting a sufficient tax refund from the IRS, e-filing your return in a participating H&R Block office, and providing certain consents and valid ID).  If you apply, BofI Federal Bank, the lender for Refund Advance, will apply its standard underwriting criteria and approve or deny your application.

Note: Applying for Refund Advance will not impact your credit score.

“How much money is available?”

The loan is available in the following amounts:

  • $500
  • $750
  • $1250
  • $3000

BofI Federal Bank, the lender for Refund Advance, will determine whether your application is approved and, if so, the loan amount.

“If I’m approved, how do I access the funds?”

If your application is approved, the loan proceeds are loaded onto your own H&R Block Emerald Prepaid Mastercard®.** Learn more about the Emerald Card®.

“Why does it take so long for the IRS to process my tax refund?”

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes, or PATH Act, is a federal law that passed in late 2015. One of its provisions was to combat tax fraud, which is good news.

The bad news? Due to these changes, the IRS must hold the entire refund of early tax filers with certain refundable credits, like the EITC and ACTC mentioned above, until at least February 15th of each filing year. Refund Advance offers potential relief from this delay.

“When can I apply for Refund Advance?”

The Refund Advance is only available January 5th – February 28, 2018.

Find more information about Refund Advance and how to schedule an appointment in a participating office.


*This is an optional tax refund-related loan from BofI Federal Bank, Member FDIC; it is not your tax refund.  Loans are offered in amounts of $500, $750, $1250 or $3000.  Approval and loan amount based on expected refund amount, ID verification, eligibility criteria, and underwriting.  If approved, funds will be loaded on a prepaid card and the loan amount will be deducted from your tax refund, reducing the amount that is paid directly to you.  Tax returns may be e-filed without applying for this loan.  Fees for other optional products or product features may apply.  Limited time offer.  Available at participating locations.  Not offered in Puerto Rico.  HRB Maine License No.: FRA2.  See hrblock.com/refundadvance for details.

**The H&R Block Emerald Prepaid Mastercard® is a tax refund-related deposit product issued by BofI Federal Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license by Mastercard International Incorporated.  Emerald Financial Services, LLC is a registered agent of BofI Federal Bank.  Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.  Not available at all locations and to all applicants.  Additional fees, terms and conditions apply; consult your Cardholder Agreement for details.  ID verification required.

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Diamond Lambert

Diamond Lambert

Diamond Lambert, M.Sc., is a marketing manager within the advertising and brand team. She is a graduate of Franklin University holding a master's degree in marketing and mass communications. Her contributions include a mix of IRS tax news, lifestyle pieces, and consumer information.

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