Tax Refund Money by Direct Bank Deposit or a Check in the Mail?

Why wait for a refund check in the mail? Direct bank deposit of your tax refund money is the fastest and safest way to receive your IRS tax refund!

What is Direct Deposit?

A direct deposit transfers your tax refund check directly into your personal or joint checking or savings account via a secure electronic funds transfer. You can directly deposit your tax refund with any U.S. financial institution as long as the bank routing and account numbers are valid. Here are three reasons why direct bank deposit is generally the best way to receive a tax refund:

1) Direct Deposit is Secure

Directly depositing your tax refund into a bank account is secure; the check can't get lost in the mail. Every year, millions of dollars in tax refunds do not get to their recipients since the checks in the mail were undeliverable. Choosing direct deposit eliminates the possibility of undeliverable mail and is also the best way to guard against having a tax refund stolen.

Find out about undelivered tax refund checks

2) Direct Deposit is Convenient 

Your tax refund money will be deposited into your bank account automatically; there is no need to make a trip to the bank.

3) Direct Deposit is Fast

Use efile.com to prepare and file your taxes and select the direct deposit option to receive your tax refund fast (usually 8-14 days after your tax return is accepted by the IRS).

Check the latest estimated tax refund deposit dates

If I Am Filing a Married Filing Jointly Return, Can My Refund Be Deposited Into An Individual Account? 

Some financial institutions do not allow a joint refund to be deposited into an individual account. Check with your bank or other financial institution to make sure your direct deposit will be accepted. Some banks charge a small fee for direct deposit. Double check your Bank Routing Number and Bank Account Number when you fill out the direct deposit section of your tax return. Verifying these numbers is just as important as double checking your name, date of birth, and Social Security Number. If you aren't sure what your bank numbers are, call your bank and ask.

How Do I Deposit My Tax Refund from a Foreign Country? 

If you are a U.S. citizen or resident living and/or working abroad and you have a U.S. bank account, you can directly deposit your refund into that account. However, if you don't have a U.S. bank account (or if you don't choose to receive your refund via direct deposit), you will need to request your refund via check in the mail. The IRS will send the check to the mailing address listed on your tax return. 

Learn more about taxes as a U.S. citizen or resident living overseas

How Do I Receive My Refund Via Check in the Mail?

The IRS sends you a check to the mailing address you entered on your tax return via the U.S. Postal Service. efile.com provides this option during the efile Checkout process. However, it will take you longer to get your refund and there is the danger that your tax refund check might get lost or damaged in the mail.

How Do I Make Sure My Check Is Sent to the Correct Address?

Make sure that you review your name and address information on your tax return to make sure it's correct before you submit it to the IRS. If you more or change your address after you submitted your return, you will need to complete and submit Form 8822, Change of Address, so the IRS has the latest address on file to send the check to you. 

What If I Am a U.S. Citizen or Resident Expecting a Refund Check? 

You may need to register with the State Department's Office of American Citizens Services and provide them with your most recent contact information (local address, phone number, email address, etc.) and contact then as often as possible when your information changes. This will help them reach you about the status of your delivered check in case the check does not list your correct mailing address. 

How Do I Check the Status of My Refund Check If I Live Abroad?

Check your refund status on the IRS Where's My Refund online tool. If the information in the tool informs you that your refund check is mailed, but you have not received it within 45 days after the mailing date the IRS provides to you, call the International Taxpayer Service Call Center at 267-941-1000 (Monday-Friday, 6 am-11 pm EST). 

How Will I Receive My Tax Refund If I Chose to Deduct Fee from Refund (e-Collect) Option? 

If you use the eFile Deluxe or Premium service and incur a charge for it, you may choose to have your tax preparation fee deducted from your tax refund. Your expected tax refund will be transferred from the IRS to the bank of our e-Collect partner, and then transferred to your bank minus the e-Collect and tax preparation fees. An e-Collect fee (Deduct Fee from Refund, or DFFR) of only $19.95 will be charged for this service. This fee is one of the lowest in the industry and is charged by our e-Collect partner, EPS Financial, and is automatically deducted from your tax refund before the remainder is deposited in your bank account.

Where Can I Find More Information on Tax Refund Options? 

Learn more about your tax refund options on efile.com.