Virginians who are used to receiving paper checks for their income tax refunds will only have two options to choose from starting next year: direct deposit or prepaid debit card.
According to the Virginia Department of Taxation’s website, paper check refunds will not be issued in 2013 due to a requirement from the 2012-2014 Appropriations Act which states income tax refunds can only be issued by direct deposit or on a prepaid debit card beginning with tax year 2012 returns. The change, according to the department’s website, is part of a cost-savings initiative.
This is the first time the prepaid debit card has been offered as an option.
How The Refund Debit Card Works
All Virginia Tax Refund Debit Cards will be a non-reloadable MasterCard® debit card. To activate, card holders will be asked to use Xerox's Go Program® and verify their identity by providing information from your tax return and creating a four-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN).
Residents will be able to see the card balance (the full amount of your refund) once the card is activated and the funds will be available immediately upon activating your card.
Joint filers will receive two cards, one issued in each name, and each filer will have equal access to the joint tax refund amount once the cards are activated. If preferred, only one card can be activated to use the refund and access the full amount.
If choosing the debit card option, residents should be aware that fees may be charged to the card for certain transactions such as cash withdrawals from ATMS or calling the Go Program® with questions using the phone (if more than two calls per month). A $3 fee will be charged to the card after six months of inactivity once activated.
If the refund amount on the card is not what you expected or you think it’s incorrect, the department’s website states that a letter explaining why the amount is different should be mailed within 10 days.
To make the refund process simpler, the department is reminding all Virginia residents to ensure their personal information is up to date and accurate in order to receive your refund check on time and without error.
Residents who chose to use direct deposit should ensure their bank account information is correct.
For more information about the Virginia Tax Refund Debit Cards, visit the Virginia Department of Taxation’s website.
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