It’s tax season, which means a tax refund for many Americans. The easiest and fastest way to get a tax refund is to have it direct deposited into a bank account. However, there are still millions of Americans who don’t have bank accounts.
Fortunately, there are a few different ways that a person can get a tax refund without a bank account.
Get a Check Instead
While direct deposit may be the easiest and quickest way to get a tax refund, the IRS still issues paper checks. If you need to get a tax refund without a bank account, having a paper check issued to you is an option. Keep in mind, though, that a paper check will take much longer to arrive. According to the IRS website, paper checks could take several weeks to arrive.
You have a few options to cash your tax refund check, even without a bank account. First, you can use a check cashing service. These services usually charge rather high fees, though, so this may not be the best option.
Instead, consider cashing your tax refund check at a store that offers this service, since stores generally have much lower check cashing fees. Walmart, for instance, only charges $3 to cash a tax refund check up to $1,000 and $6 to cash tax refund checks of up to $7,500. Kroger charges a $3 fee to cash tax refund checks up to $2,000 and a $5 frr to cash a tax refund check above this amount.
For individuals who don’t want to bother with the hassle of cashing a check but still need to get a tax refund without a bank account, prepaid cards are also an option.
You can often pick up a prepaid Visa, Mastercard, or American Express at a number of retailers, including drugstores, grocery stores, and even gas stations. These usually cost just a few dollars, but you may also be required to add some fund right away in order to activate the card. Just make sure you read the fine print and know what types of maintenance fees you can expect to pay.
You might want to consider the <ahref=”https://www.bluebird.com/” target=”_blank”>Bluebird by American Express card if you want to use a prepaid card to get your tax refund. You’re able to direct deposit funds and there are no monthly or annual fees to maintain the account. You can also add cash to the card for free at any Walmart, and you can get free Bluebird checks, which you can use to pay bills.
Open a Bank Account
Another option to get a tax refund without a bank account is simply to open a bank account. Even if you have bounced checks in the past, you should still be able to open a savings account with just about any bank. You may need to start with an initial deposit, though, to get the account started. This initial deposit may be as low as $10, but it varies by bank.
Once you have a bank account, you’ll be able to receive direct deposits immediately. You also don’t have to worry about trying to figure out how to get a tax refund without a bank account next year.
Can I deposit my tax refund into someone else’s bank account?
Generally, this is a very bad idea for a couple of reasons.
First, many banks will reject tax refund deposits if the name on the refund does not match the name on the bank account. If this happens, it will take much longer to get your tax refund.
Also, if by some chance that your tax refund makes its way into someone else’s account somehow, there’s no guarantee that you’ll have access to it. You’ll need to rely on the person who’s account it is to get the money.