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Replacing Paper Tax Refunds with Debit Cards

September 26
Duration: 0 hours

For the 2012 tax season, many Americans who were owed refunds didn’t receive a familiar check in the mail. They got a prepaid debit card instead. At least six states issued their tax refunds on debit cards, in a move they say will save money for both the refund recipients and the government. 

Can we expect to see more states issue debit cards for tax refunds? The states that are doing it say there are many advantages of plastic over paper checks. The potential savings are significant: up to $1 million annually, according to some state officials. Many states that have already switched to plastic payments for unemployment benefits and food stamps, say it’s a natural trend.

But with every new program there are risks as well as rewards. Changing the way tax refunds are distributed can be challenging, especially for those who are not accustomed to using debit cards.

Join GOVERNING’s editorial staff on Wednesday, September 26 at 2 p.m. ET for a live, interactive online forum as we discuss how and why a growing number of states are replacing paper tax refund checks with debit cards.

The online forum will cover:

  • Why states are turning to debit cards and how they are implementing the new program
  • What the advantages are to using debit cards
  • What challenges do states face when implementing a new way to distribute tax refunds.


Tod Newcombe (moderator)


Rachel Benning
Vice President
Public Sector Development

Gale Garriott
Executive Director
Federation of Tax Administrators

Ryan Holeywell

Carol McCullar
Chief Financial Officer
Oklahoma Tax Commission

Kevin Sullivan
Department of Revenue Services
State of Connecticut


For questions or more information, please contact:

Michael Shane
800-917-7732 ext. 1410

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