This is the total number of customers that choose to receive their tax refund either through a Refund Anticipation Loan (RAL) or Refund Anticipation Check (RAC).
Refund Anticipation Loans (RAL) are essentially an advance on a tax refund. The tax preparer provides a bank the necessary information regarding expected tax return and so forth, and the customer (borrower) pays a processing fee as well as interest on the loan. RALs are characterized as high interest, short-term loans.
Refund Anticipation Checks (RAC) is similar to an RAL, but rather a direct deposit available to customers without a bank account. The customer must pay some processing fees for a RAC, but the overall costs are significantly lower than a RAL. However, RACs take 8-15 days for the refund to be available to the customer, whereas the RAL provides the refund immediately.