Frequently Asked Questions

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The Benefit Bank Account

What do I do if I forgot my user name?

If you forgot your user name, send an email to tbbhelp@thebenefitbank.org requesting your user name.

What do I do if I forgot my password?

If you forgot your password (but know your user name), you can click on the Forgot your Password? link and follow the simple instructions to reset your password.

Taxes

How long do I have to file my return?

The deadline for filing your taxes is April 18. If you cannot meet this deadline you should file an extension form 4868 (download the form). However, an extension will not prevent the IRS from assessing interest and or penalties to any tax you may owe. For more information on filing deadlines, visit the IRS website.

Note: The IRS allows you to electronically file (e-file) your taxes until October 15.

How do I file a state-only return?

The Benefit Bank currently supports state tax filing for the following states:

  • Pennsylvania
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia

If you did not live in one of these states on December 31 of the previous year then you cannot use the Benefit Bank to file your state taxes.

To file only your state return you must still enter all of your federal tax information. This is because The Benefit Bank uses your federal information to calculate your state taxes. To prevent The Benefit Bank from re-filing your federal return, simply select "Do not file my federal return. I want to do state taxes only. " at the beginning of the Federal Taxes : Filing Your Return section. This will create your forms without electronically filing your federal return to the IRS. You can then proceed to the state tax section and e-file or paper file your state taxes, where applicable.

What happens if I submitted my return twice, using The Benefit Bank and another service?

You will not be penalized for accidentally e-filing your federal or state return a second time.

If you accidentally e-filed your federal or state return more than once -- and the first filing was accepted by the IRS -- the second filing will be rejected by the IRS. The rejection will say something to the effect of, "A person with this social security number has already filed a return." If you were satisfied with your initial e-file and the second e-file was a mistake, disregard the notice and do nothing.

However, if you wish to make a change to a return that was already accepted by the IRS, then you must fill out form 1040X (download the form). The 1040X must be mailed to the IRS; it cannot be e-filed.

What does it mean that my return was rejected?

A tax return is rejected by the IRS simply because some basic information you submitted on your return does not match IRS records. For example, if you accidentally misspelled a dependent's name or mistyped a Social Security Number you would receive a rejection notice from the IRS. Rejections only occur for e-filed returns. The IRS database must be able to positively identify you in their system. Therefore, if you submit information that conflicts with their records, the e-filed return will be rejected by their system.

How do I correct my return after it has been rejected?

To correct a rejected tax return, simply double-check the information you entered, make any necessary changes, and re-submit your e-file.

Please refer to the E-file Status Tool in The Benefit Bank when making corrections, as it tells you the reason for your rejection.

Why haven't I received my refund yet?

Refund times may vary from two to eight weeks, depending on how you filed (e-file or paper file) and how you chose to receive your refund (direct deposit or a mailed check). You can check the status of your refund by visiting the IRS site Where's My Refund. Your information will be available within 24 hours after your e-filed tax return has been received or 4 weeks after you mail your paper return.

If you have moved during tax season

If you moved after filing taxes, you should contact the IRS with your new address information. The IRS does not forward checks.

How do I make changes to a return that the IRS has already accepted?

You must fill out form 1040X (download the form). The 1040X cannot be e-filed and must be mailed to the IRS. You are able to fill out this form for three prior tax years

Do I need to file a tax return?

The IRS has a tool that will help you determine if you should file. The tool will ask you a series of questions about your citizenship status, marital status, income, etc and should take about 10 minutes to complete. Use the IRS tool called Do I Need to File a Tax Return? to help you figure out if you should file.

Benefits

What if I already receive food assistance and need to re-certify? Can The Benefit Bank help me with that?

No. You'll receive notice from the state about a month and a half before your food assistance runs out

I have a shut-off notice. Can I apply for Emergency HEAP through The Benefit Bank?

No. To apply for the Winter Crisis Program, you must complete an application at your local HEAP delegate agency. Make sure you call to make an appointment first.

Does The Benefit Bank send me my benefit after they receive my application?

No. In most cases, you either electronically submit your application to the state via TBB, or you must send the application yourself by mail to the state. At the end of each benefit application in TBB, we will instruct you on what to do after submitting the application.

Often, you will need to meet with a representative from the state, or send them information. After the state receives all the information it needs and your eligibility is confirmed, you will receive your benefits from the state.

Veterans Services

Can I use The Benefit Bank Online Service to apply for veterans benefits if I am the spouse or a child of a veteran?

Spouses and children of veterans are sometimes entitled to veterans benefits. Using The Benefit Bank, Ohio and South Carolina residents can apply for education benefits if a veteran has transferred their education benefits to them. The Benefit Bank does not currently support any other benefits given to dependents and spouses of veterans at this time. You can, however, request military records for a veteran spouse.

Do I need discharge papers (such as a DD 214) to apply for VA education benefits?

No. You can still submit applications for VA education benefits even without a DD 214 or equivalent discharge papers. However, if you are applying for VA benefits, we recommend that you get a DD 214 at some point in the future. You can use the Request Military Records section of The Benefit Bank to request a DD 214 or equivalent.

Can I use The Benefit Bank to apply for a veterans education benefit if I don't know which one I want to apply for?

Yes. The Benefit Bank can help you. We will ask you questions to help determine which benefit program you are eligible for. If you are eligible for more than one program, The Benefit Bank will give you information to help you decide which one to choose.