Tax Refund Choices for Taxpayers - 2012 Direct deposit • Fast, convenient, secure and accurate. • Funds available immediately. Check Debit Card – New Option • Fast, convenient, secure and accurate. • Funds available immediately.
Debit Cards - Convenient and Flexible • Option for taxpayers that don’t have bank accounts (approximately 9.8% of NYS population). • Cost efficient. • Safe and provide protection against loss and fraud. • Provide options for taxpayers who don’t opt for direct deposit to • Deposit refund to a bank account • Make withdrawals and purchases
Debit Card - Savings • Issuing tax refunds by paper check is costly. • Checks - Average Cost is $0.58. • Debit Cards – No Cost to the NYS Taxation and Finance.
How Does the Card Work? • NYS Taxation and Finance determines the taxpayer refund and transfers the amount to the card issuer (the bank). • The bank creates an account in the taxpayer’s name in the amount of the refund. • Taxpayer can then use the debit card to make purchases or withdrawals until the funds are exhausted. • Once the funds are exhausted, the account is closed. • Taxpayer can’t make personal deposits to the account. Only NYS Tax and Finance can fund the card (single-load card).
Debit Card Activation • Taxpayers will receive their debit card by mail. Joint filers will receive two cards in one envelope addressed to both spouses – same bank account. • Taxpayer can call or go online to activate the card. • Detailed instructions will be provided on how the card can be used. • Once the card is activated, the taxpayer will be given the account balance and may begin using it immediately. • Taxpayer may be asked to establish a PIN, if using at an ATM.
Debit Card Usage and Fees Access & Fees • Taxpayers need multiple, accessible ways to get refunds without paying fees. • Funds available at banks, through in-network and out-of-network ATMs and through point-of-sale or online purchases.
Debit Card - Cash Withdrawals Bank withdrawal • No fee for the first withdrawal from any bank or credit union that accepts MasterCard. ATM withdrawal • In-network ATM withdrawals are free. • Non-network cash withdrawals will be charged a surcharge and fee per transaction.
Debit Card – Use for Purchases • Cards can be used for purchases wherever MasterCard is accepted. • Online • At retail locations • Taxpayers can also get cash back when making retail purchases. • No fee for online or retailpurchases.
Taxpayer Outreach and Support • Clear language instructions. • Card mailer in English and Spanish. • Communication to practitioners and software vendors. • Communication to state legislators. • Outreach to taxpayers through community groups.
Taxpayer Outreach and Support • 24/7 telephone support. • Instructions and telephone support in multiple languages. • Websites at Department and the bank.