Uncle Sam Pushes Debit Card for Tax Refunds

January 14, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – The U.S. Department of the Treasury has a new idea for distributing those refunds to taxpayers.  


The Treasury Department has launched a pilot debit card program that it says will “offer taxpayers a safe, convenient and low-cost financial account for the electronic delivery of their federal tax refunds”.   

As the next step in this pilot, originally announced in September, Treasury will mail letters next week to 600,000 low- and moderate-income individuals nationwide – and those letters will invite these taxpayers to consider activating a MyAccountCard Visa Prepaid Debit Card in time to have their 2010 federal tax refund direct deposited to the card.   

Also this week, Treasury began a companion pilot to encourage tens of thousands of current and potential payroll card users to direct deposit their 2010 federal tax refund onto existing payroll cards.  Working with payroll service provider ADP, Treasury says it will highlight the safety, ease and convenience of direct deposit onto payroll cards through tax season communications, including materials distributed with pay statements.   

As part of the pilot, Treasury will randomly offer several different variations of MyAccountCard in order to evaluate which product features, fee structures and marketing messages generate the greatest positive response from taxpayers.  The results of the pilot will help determine the benefits and feasibility of a card account as an integrated part of the tax filing and refund process, according to the announcement. 

More information is available at http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/tg1021.aspx, and more information about MyAccountCard can be found at http://www.myaccountcard.gov.