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How to Have Tax Refunds Direct-Deposited

Direct Deposit


Understand that you can receive your money two to three weeks earlier if you use direct deposit for your federal income tax refund.


Use direct deposit if you are filing IRS Form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ or 1040NR.


Find out the routing transit number of your bank and the number of your account.


Write the routing transit number, bank account number and account type - savings or checking - in the refund area of a paper return.


Or, give the information to your authorized e-file provider if you are filing electronically.


Send in your return by mail or electronically.

Routing Numbers


Look at the line of numbers at the bottom of one of your blank checks. Don't use the numbers on a deposit slip if those numbers are different.


Ignore the numbers that designate the check number, which is duplicated at the top of the check.


Look for the bank's routing number. It will be nine digits long and is usually on the bottom left of your check. The first two numbers will be 01 through 12 or 21 through 32.


Look for your account number. It will be the remaining numbers.

Tips and Warnings

  • Some major banks such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America have a routing number specifically for direct deposits. You may use either that number or the number on your check.
  • Some credit unions and a few other financial institutions operate their accounts as payable through another institution. The routing transit number in these cases is not always correct on the check. Definitely contact your credit union to verify the number.
  • When you enter your account number, leave out any spaces or special symbols, but include all numbers, letters and hyphens. The account number cannot be more than 17 characters long.
  • The bank account must be in the taxpayer's name for the refund to be directly deposited.
  • When a return is filed under the married filing separately status, the refund cannot be directly deposited into an account that includes the name of anyone other than the taxpayer or the taxpayer's spouse.
  • You will not be notified by the IRS or your bank that your refund has been deposited into your account.

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