Did you get a deposit into your bank account from TPG PRODUCTS SBTPG LLC?
Or just TPG Products? Or some version of that?
And did the deposit come from Civista Bank? A bank that you’ve never heard of?
If so, you’re probably wondering why because the name is acronym soup and not something you expected. It has to do with your tax refund.
TPG PRODUCTS SBTPG LLC stands for:
- TPG stands for Tax Products Group
- SBTPG stands for Santa Barbara Tax Products Group
- And the LLC is just Limited Liability Company
And Civista Bank is the bank that SBTPG uses.
In most cases, the deposit you received was your tax refund minus any fees. Many companies, like TurboTax and TaxSlayer, used Santa Barbara Tax Products Group to process returns and refunds.
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Who is Santa Barbara Tax Products Group?
Santa Barbara Tax Products Group is a tax services company that is owned by Green Dot Company. who also runs GO2bank and other debit card products. Santa Barbara TPG was founded in 1991 and they provide tax-related financial products like advances on tax refunds, debit cards, etc. to service providers.
They primarily market to tax professionals, like accountants, rather than directly to taxpayers.
What is the TPG Products Deposit?
If you worked with a tax preparation company, like a TurboTax or TaxSlayer, and you asked for something other than a straightforward deposit of your refund – chances are it went through SBTPG.
For example, you can opt to have your tax preparation fees deducted from your tax refund. That’s a service taht SBTPG provides and so your refund gets “routed” (for lack of a better term) through them so they can deduct the fee and transfer the rest to you.
With TurboTax, this is called “Pay With My Refund” but is sometimes called “Refund Processing Service.” There’s an additional fee associated with this option, on top of the tax preparation fees, so be aware of that (it was $39 in 2022, I’m unsure what the fee is for 2023).
Who is Civista Bank?
If you opted for Pay With My Refund or another similarly named service from another tax prep company, you may notice that the direct deposit information on your tax return may have been changed to Civista Bank.
If this happened to me, I’d be worried too but there’s no reason to (as long as you opted for the services).
Santa Barbara TPG works with Civista Bank. Civista Bank is an FDIC insured bank based out of Ohio with 41 domestic locations in two states. They are FDIC insured under FDIC Cert# 12982, though you don’t have an account there.
What’s happening is that your tax refund will be sent there, the fees are deducted, and then the remaining balance is sent to you.
What if there is a discrepancy?
If you use the Refund Processing Service, you get a deposit for your tax refund minus tax preparation fees and minus the Refund Processing Service fee.
If you notice a discrepancy in the deposit amount, your best option is to contact Santa Barbara TPG at 800-779-7228 or visit the TPG website for taxpayers to check on your refund transfer details.
Who Uses Santa Barbara Tax Products Group?
I don’t have an exhaustive list of the tax preparation companies that use Santa Barbara TPG but I suspect a lot of local tax accountants probably do – it’s a compelling way for them to offer services reserved for larger firms.
From what I can tell, most of the nationwide tax preparation services use them including TurboTax, TaxSlayer, Jackson Hewitt, eTax, and TaxAct.