How to Change the Way I Receive My Refund

by Angela M. Wheeland
Change the way you receive your tax refund before you submit the forms to the IRS.

After you complete your tax return, some circumstances, such as changing your bank account or moving, might require you to alter how you receive your federal tax refund. Although the Internal Revenue Service typically doesn't allow you to make changes once they accept your return, you can alter the method before submitting the forms to the IRS. To change from a paper check to direct deposit, or vice-versa, you have to amend the information on your tax return.

Change to Direct Deposit on Paper Return

Go to the "Refund" section on your income tax return. This section is located toward the bottom of your tax return, on Form 1040, Form 1040A or Form 1040EZ.

Enter your bank's routing number in the "Routing Number" field.

Check the box that indicates whether your account is a checking or savings account.

Enter your bank account number in the "Account Number" field.

Change to Direct Deposit with Tax Software

Open the tax preparation software you use to file your income taxes, and open your current tax return.

Proceed through the program until you come to the screen that asks how you want to receive your federal tax refund. You should find this option toward the end of the questionnaire, but before you choose how to submit your return.

Change the option to receive your refund by direct deposit instead of a paper refund. Some programs might refer to direct deposit as "To My Bank Account."

Enter your bank account and routing number in the fields provided. You can enter up to three bank accounts and designate the amount you want refunded in each account.

Change to Paper Check

Go to the "Refund" section of your tax return if you're filing a paper return. If you're filing your return electronically, open your tax preparation software and proceed to the screen that asks how you want to receive your refund.

Cross out your bank account and routing numbers on your return if you're filing a paper return. Alternatively, you can "white-out" the information or print and prepare a new return.

Delete your bank account and routing number from the tax preparation software screen if you're filing your return electronically. Uncheck the box that selects direct deposit, and check the appropriate box to indicate that you would rather receive a paper refund.

About the Author

Angela M. Wheeland specializes in topics related to taxation, technology, gaming and criminal law. She has contributed to several websites and serves as the lead content editor for a construction-related website. Wheeland holds an Associate of Arts in accounting and criminal justice. She has owned and operated her own income tax-preparation business since 2006.

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