As taxpayers prepare for the January 29 start of filing season, they should consider a direct deposit of any refunds due. It’s easy, safe, fast — and the best way to get a refund. That’s why 80 percent of taxpayers choose it every year.
IRS Direct Deposit:
- Is Fast. The quickest way for taxpayers to get their refund is to electronically file their federal tax return and use direct deposit. They can use IRS Free File to prepare and e-file federal returns for free. Taxpayers who file a paper return can also use direct deposit.
- Is Secure. Since refunds go right into a bank account, there’s no risk of having a paper check stolen or lost. This is the same electronic transfer system that deposits nearly 98 percent of all Social Security and Veterans Affairs benefits into millions of accounts.
- Is Easy. Choosing direct deposit is easy. With e-file, just follow the instructions in the tax software. For paper returns, the tax form instructions serve as a guide. Make sure to enter the correct bank account and routing number.
- Has Options. Taxpayers can split a refund into several financial accounts. These include checking, savings, health, education and certain retirement accounts. Use IRS Form 8888, Allocation of Refund (including Savings Bond Purchases), to deposit a refund in up to three accounts. Do not use this form to designate part of a refund to pay tax preparers.
Taxpayers should deposit refunds into accounts in their own name, their spouse’s name or both. Avoid making a deposit into accounts owned by others. Some banks require both spouses’ names on the account to deposit a tax refund from a joint return. Taxpayers should check with their bank for direct deposit rules.
There is a limit of three electronic direct deposit refunds made into a single financial account or pre-paid debit card. The IRS will send a notice and a refund check in the mail to taxpayers who exceed the limit.
Additional IRS Resources:
- Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax
- Where’s My Refund?
- Frequently Asked Questions about Splitting Federal Income Tax Refunds