Are you expecting a tax refund this year?

Manage Your Tax Refund Safely and Easily

Manage Your Tax Refund Safely and Easily

Lisa A. Farley |
Posted on Mar 17, 2023

Once you have submitted your federal tax return and know you have a refund owed to you by the IRS, below are a few tips to ensure that your money arrives as safely and quickly as possible. Additionally, this is always a great opportunity to consider how to put your refund to good use.

The refund process

The fastest way to get your tax refund is to have it electronically deposited into your bank account through the IRS Direct Deposit Program. It’s free to consumers, the money in typically refunded fairly quickly, and it allows you to deposit your refund into as many as three separate accounts.

While you can still receive your refund in the form of a paper check, there are several advantages to direct deposit. Not only is it faster, direct deposit is also more secure. Refund checks sent through the mail can be lost, stolen, or returned to the IRS, if undeliverable. If you do not have a bank account, this might be the perfect time to open one.


Opening a bank account can be one of the most important steps you take towards managing your money and reaching your financial goals. Why? Because putting your money into an FDIC-insured bank account can offer you financial security, fast and easy access to your funds, eliminates check-cashing fees, and provides overall financial peace of mind. Banks offer many different types of accounts and programs to fit your needs. Furthermore, once you have established a bank account, you can quickly get your tax refund by having it electronically deposited into your account as mentioned above. Visit to learn more.

Prepaid cards

Another option is to have the IRS deposit your refund onto a prepaid card. If you use a prepaid card, read the fine print and make sure you know how to deposit money onto the card and what, if any, fees may be involved. Cards differ in the types of deposits allowed, how they process receipt of government deposits, and fees charged for certain transactions, if applicable. If you set up a new prepaid card account for your refund, you may be required to provide information to validate your identity, such as your Social Security number and date of birth, similar to opening a new bank account.

If you choose this option, be careful to protect your prepaid card and keep your pin number confidential. If cards are lost or stolen, you could be subject to replacement card fees, as well as the risk of unauthorized charges against your available card balance.

Tracking your refund status

Whichever refund delivery method you select, you can track the status of your federal tax return from the time the IRS received it by visiting IRS Tools and filling out the appropriate information, or by downloading the IRS2Go Mobile App.

What to do with your refund

Many people use tax refunds to make purchases they might not be able to afford without the refund. However, it can also provide a great opportunity to start a new savings plan, establish an educational fund for children, contribute to an emergency fund, reduce outstanding debt, or donate to a local non-profit organization.

Are you expecting a tax refund this year? If so, keep these tips in mind, and use your tax refund to help yourself, your family, or your community. For additional information, visit

Lisa A. Farley

Lisa A. Farley
Community Banking Manager