Usually, e-filing your taxes requires providing the IRS with a bank account and routing number so that money can be either extracted from or deposited into your account. However, it is possible to e-file without a bank account with several options available for you, including some that will charge you significant fees.
If you will be paying taxes this year you can e-file as long as you have a repository of money such as a pre-paid debit card. Enter the debit card's information when prompted for payment by whatever tax software you're using to file. For information about the IRS' pre-paid debit card system go to www.IRS.gov/efile/index.html.
If you'll be receiving a refund this year, there are a few options for e-filing without a bank account. All tax software programs give you the option to request your refund via check. It takes a lot longer to receive your refund, but you can have it mailed anywhere you want and cash it at any bank. If you have a prepaid debit card, you can enter its routing and account number to have your refund transferred directly to that account.
E-filing requirements for state taxes vary from state to state. If you are e-filing your federal taxes you should be prompted by your software program to file your state taxes at the same time; if you choose this option the directions outlined in Section 2 apply. If you're filing your state taxes separately, see your state's revenue agency's website for information on its requirements including filing options.
Third-Party Cash Cards
Many tax preparers, such as Ace Cash Express, provide cash card services, which enable you to collect a tax refund without either a bank account or an official IRS prepaid card. You may find one of these services useful; however, tax preparers cost money and, depending on the complexity of your returns, you may be better off using one of the other options mentioned.
Theon Weber has been a professional writer and critic since 2006, writing for the Village Voice, the Portland Mercury, and the late Blender Magazine. He was a staff writer at the Web-based Stylus Magazine from 2005 to its closure in 2007.