Most banks will only cash federal tax refund checks for customers, but you don't need a bank account to cash your federal income tax refund check. Millions of Americans that receive tax refunds are without bank accounts. In fact, Business Insider revealed that an astounding 2 billion people around the globe do not have bank accounts. Fortunately, you can bypass the bank and still get your money.
Take Advantage of Retail Store Check Cashing
Visit Check Cashing Stores
Opt for Prepaid Cards
Get Help from a Relative
You can sign a federal tax refund check over to a family member to be cashed or deposited into his account. Depending on the bank's policy, it might require the check to clear before your relative can access the funds.
You'll need to sign the check over to your relative by endorsing the back and writing the words "Pay to the order of," followed by his name. He will also need to sign the check. Although there are no rules preventing you from signing over a government check, the IRS discourages having your refund deposited directly into an account that's not in your name.
- Kroger: Money Services - Check Cashing
- IRS: Safeguard Your Refund
- Legal Match: Endorsement and Transfer of Checks
- NetSpend: Get a Faster Tax Refund
- Amscot Financial: Check Cashing Rates
- Walmart: Direct2Cash
- Business Insider: The world's 2 billion unbanked, in 6 charts
- United States Government Accountability Office. "2011 TAX FILING Processing Gains, but Taxpayer Assistance Could Be Enhanced by More Self-Service Tools," Page 8. Accessed Feb. 2, 2020.
- United States Government Accountability Office. "2011 TAX FILING Processing Gains, but Taxpayer Assistance Could Be Enhanced by More Self-Service Tools," Page 37. Accessed Feb. 2, 2020.
- Creditcards.com. "Pros and cons of tax refund prepaid cards." Accessed Feb. 2, 2020.
Jeannine Mancini, a Florida native, has been writing business and personal finance articles since 2003. Her articles have been published in the Florida Today and Orlando Sentinel. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Central Florida.