How to Change My Tax Refund Payment Method

By: Beth Rifkin

You will receive your refund faster with direct deposit.

tax time image by Ray Kasprzak from

When you file your tax return you have the choice of receiving your refund by check or by direct deposit. Additionally you can use part of your refund to purchase a U.S. Series Savings Bond. You are allowed to change the way you receive your refund from the method your tax software or the IRS has on record. However, it must be done before or along with filing your current return.

Tax Software

Step 1

Open the tax software application that you use to file your taxes. Bring up the current return that you will be filing.

Step 2

Go to the section that allows you to choose the way in which you receive your refund. This is usually toward the end of the return questionnaire, but it may vary per software program.

Step 3

Choose the method for receiving your refund. Many tax software programs save your past settings and apply them to the current year. Therefore, you will likely have to manually change the method of obtaining your refund if it is different from the previous year.

Step 4

Enter in your bank or address information. If you are choosing direct deposit, enter the name of your bank, the routing number and your bank account number. To have a check mailed to you, enter the appropriate address.

Step 5

Save the changes so that they are correct when your return is filed.

Paper Filing

Step 1

Choose a method of payment on your paper tax return form. On Form 1040, the section is called Refund and allows you to include the information for direct deposit. If you do not choose a refund method when filling out your tax return, the IRS will automatically mail you a paper check to your permanent address.

Step 2

Download and print IRS Form 8888 from, which allows you to allocate your refund in a number of different ways, including direct deposit, paper check or by purchasing a U.S. savings bond. You may choose any one method or split the refund between two or three of the choices.

Step 3

Enter the information for each separate direct deposit account, if you are splitting your refund. Use IRS Form 8888 to have your refund deposited in up to three separate accounts. Enter the routing and account number for each, along with the amount that should go into each account.

Step 4

Purchase a U.S. savings bond with part or all of your refund, if you wish. Enter the amount that you would like to spend on the bond, along with the name of the owner of the bond. You may purchase savings bonds in your name or that of another person.

Step 5

Write the amount of the refund that should be sent to you by check, if applicable.



About the Author

Beth Rifkin has been writing health- and fitness-related articles since 2005. Her bylines include "Tennis Life," "Ms. Fitness," "Triathlon Magazine," "Inside Tennis" and others. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Temple University.

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