The State Department of Taxation and Finance has announced a new option taxpayers can choose to receive their state income tax refunds. Beginning next year, a prepaid card will be available as an alternative to paper checks.
The cards will be available at no cost to taxpayers, and no bank account or credit check is required to enroll. Taxpayers who choose to receive the cards can use them to conveniently and securely pay bills and make purchases online, by telephone, and at retail locations. In addition, taxpayers - including those without bank accounts - can make in-person cash withdrawals at most banks. The first cash withdrawal at a bank is free and can be used to withdraw the entire balance.
The new prepaid card will be ready to use after being activated by the cardholder, providing taxpayers with immediate access to their New York state tax refund. In addition to ATMs, cardholders can get cash back at the point-of-sale (with PIN transactions) at most retail locations. If a card is lost or stolen, it will be replaced at no charge. Cardholders are also protected against any unauthorized or fraudulent charges.
Taxpayers will continue to have the refund options of direct deposit or paper checks.