Everyone has to pay taxes on their income, but some people pay more than necessary during the year. The IRS sends tax refund checks to people who overpaid in the previous tax season. Some people interpret the check as free money, while others don’t like getting these checks because it means they could have paid less on tax day. With the check in hand, you have several choices for cashing it out and using the funds in any way you would like.
Do I need a bank account to cash my tax refund check?
Creating a bank account has many advantages. You can store money and create multiple accounts to categorize your funds. However, you don’t need a bank account to cash your tax refund check. Since the United States Treasury backs your refund check from the IRS, it may be easier to cash your IRS check at a bank, credit union, or retail store, than if you were attempting to cash a personal check.
Do I need an ID to cash my tax refund check?
Consumers have several choices for cashing out their checks, but you will need an ID to receive your funds. If this requirement didn’t exist, anyone could walk around with your tax refund check and claim to be you. Several documents count as valid IDs, such as an unexpired state-issued photo driver’s license or identification card, an unexpired passport, or a permanent resident card. In some cases, you may be able to provide a birth certificate and proof of your social security number if you don’t have a valid picture ID.
5 places to cash your refund check
When you get your tax refund check in the mail, you want your funds as quickly as possible. IRS checks from the U.S. Treasury expire in a year, and if you delay making a deposit, you could forget about the check. Life can get busy in a hurry. It’s best to get the deposit over with so you can focus on other things. Below are five places to cash your federal tax refund check.
Bank, online bank or credit union
You should start with your bank or credit union if you already have an account. Many banks and credit unions will cash a check for free if you have an account with them.
Banks and credit unions set their own policies when cashing checks for non-customers, including fees. While a bank or credit union may be unwilling to cash a personal check if you aren’t an account holder, they may accept your federal tax refund check since it is backed by the government.
Pro Tip! MoneyLion offers a safe and secure way to bank online ‘your way’ with daily rewards, get paid up to 2 days early1, and Zero Minimum balance fees*.
MoneyLion is a financial technology company, not a bank. RoarMoney℠ is powered by Pathward, N.A., Member FDIC.
Many people use ATMs to get cash from their accounts. These convenient options can also help with federal tax refund checks, but you need to have a bank account. The ATM route requires a deposit before you can make a withdrawal. You would have to transfer the funds from the tax refund check to your bank account and then withdraw them.
Check cashing services
Check cashing services help people who want immediate access to cash and don’t have a bank account. Some stores require you to set up an account with them, and they all require a valid identification document. Creating an account with the check cashing service will make it easier to cash an IRS check in the future.
Check cashing stores typically charge fees based on a percentage of the check. This structure can become expensive, especially if you receive a large refund from the IRS. You can keep more of your money if you cash the check with another party.
Large retail stores
Some large retailers and grocery stores will cash tax refund checks, but you may have to pay a fee. To cash a check at these stores, you may need to sign up for a free account and present valid identification.
Walmart cashes most pre-printed checks, including your federal tax refund. You don’t need to have an account, and you can cash checks of up to $7,500 between January and April and $5,000 for the remaining months of the year.
Walmart’s fee depends on your check’s face value. You can expect a $4 fee for checks up to $1,000 and an $8 fee for checks up to $5,000. Check cashing services are not available in every state, so it’s a good idea to check with your local Walmart to see if they offer this service.
You can also cash checks at your local grocery store. As long as you know your social security number and bring valid identification, you can cash your tax refund check at over 2,000 Kroger stores. Depending on the check amount, fees start between $3 and $5.50 with your Shopper’s Card. Publix offers check cashing services in its customer service department, but you’ll need to check with your local store on required identification, check limits, and fees.
Prepaid cards or debit cards
Not everyone wants to cash their tax refund. Some people prefer to store the funds on a prepaid card or debit card. With 7-Eleven’s Transact Prepaid Mastercard, you can deposit your tax refund check through the app using your smartphone’s camera.
Likewise, if you are an account holder with a bank or credit union, you may be able to access your funds immediately through your debit card. This feature is available if you can deposit your check through the app.
Access your federal tax refund quickly
When you finally get your tax refund, you may not want to wait for the check to clear before using your money. You have several ways to cash your federal tax refund check when you want your money now, even if you don’t have a bank account. As long as you bring the check and have valid identification, you can still find ways to cash your federal tax refund check.
Where can I cash my tax refund without a bank account?
Even if you aren’t an account holder, some banks and credit unions will cash your federal tax refund. If you don’t have a bank account, you may also cash your federal tax refund at major retailers, grocery stores, and check cashing stores.
Will Walmart cash my tax refund check?
Walmart cashes tax refund checks of up to $7,500. Check with your local store to see if it cashes checks, as not every Walmart offers this service.
Can you cash a tax refund check at an ATM?
While it may be possible to cash a tax refund check at an ATM, the more common approach is to deposit your federal refund check through the ATM. You may have to wait up to two business days to access the deposited funds. It depends on your bank.