Get Your Refund Your Way

You have several options on how to receive your federal income tax refund. You can:

  • Split your direct deposit between two or three accounts
  • Direct deposit your refund into a single checking account
  • Receive your refund in a paper check
  • Buy up to $5,000 in U.S. Series I Savings Bonds

Split Your Direct Deposit Between Two or Three Accounts

Split your direct deposit refund into two or three accounts with up to three different U.S. financial institutions. You can put some into your checking account, some in your savings account, or some in other accounts, such as an individual retirement arrangement or IRA. Use the Form 8888, (Allocation of Refund including Savings Bonds Purchases)PDF to split your refund.  See Frequently Asked Questions about Splitting Federal Income Tax Returns for more information.

Direct Deposit Your Refund to a Single Checking or Savings Account

If you want to deposit your refund to just one account, you put the information directly on your tax return form. You don't need an extra form. It's safe and fast.

There are Limits on the Number of Direct Deposits to the Same Account

To fight fraud and identity theft, the IRS limits the number of refunds electronically deposited into a single financial account or pre-paid debit card to three. Direct deposits must be made to an account with your name on it. This new limitation protects you from preparers who collect tax preparation fees by depositing your refund into their own accounts. Also, preparers can't use the Form 8888PDF to deposit any part of your refund into their own account or a joint account with you.

The fourth and subsequent refunds will convert automatically to a paper refund check and be mailed. Read more about Direct Deposit Limits here.

Receive Your Refund in a Paper Check

You can still choose to have a paper refund check mailed to you.

Buy up to $5,000 in U.S. Series I Savings Bonds

You can use part or all of your refund to buy U.S. Series I Savings Bonds and you can choose to direct deposit or receive a check in the mail for any unused portion of your refund.

Use the  Form 8888, (Allocation of Refund including Savings Bonds Purchases)PDF to tell the IRS you want to buy U.S. savings bonds. See Using Your Income Tax Refund to Save by Buying U.S. Savings Bonds for more information