The state Department of Taxation and Finance today announced that taxpayers can get their income-tax refunds next year through a prepaid debit card instead of a paper check or a direct bank deposit.
The cards will be available at no cost to taxpayers, state officials said. The cards can be used to pay bills or make purchases, similar to a bank debit card. The participants do not need bank accounts, the taxation department said, and they would be able to make in-person cash withdrawals at most banks or through ATMs. The first cash withdrawal at a bank would be free.
“Expanding our tax refund options to include this new prepaid card empowers New York taxpayers with a more convenient, and secure alternative to paper checks,” Tax Commissioner Thomas Mattox said in a statement. “The new prepaid card may be especially beneficial to taxpayers who don’t have bank accounts.”
Choosing a prepaid card will be among the options that tax filers can select when they choose how to receive their refunds — along with a check in the mail or direct deposit, tax officials said. The cards would be mailed and then activated by the user.