OK – so we’re not quite ready to delve into tax season, but April 15th will be here before you know it. This week, we take a look at some of the newer resources available for tax filers, including new smartphone and ipad apps and prepaid debit cards that will make getting your refund much more streamlined and convenient. It’s never too early to get that foundation into place so that April 15th is nothing but a date on the calendar.
Earlier this year, the IRS introduced a new app for Android, iPhone and other smart phone users. It makes keeping up with the status of your tax return much easier. Also, there’s an option for users that allows them to enter their email address so that they can get tax tips delivered straight into their inbox each day.
Taxpayers who use the app will be able to check their statuses as soon as three days after filing it. The free IRS2GO application is available now for download from the Apple App Store and the Android Marketplace.
Last year, the IRS encouraged taxpayers without bank accounts to sign up for prepaid debit cards so that their refunds could be applied electronically – saving time and ensuring taxpayers got their refunds in a timely manner. Soon, there were hundreds of prepaid debit card options. Here are a few of the ones that have served taxpayers well ever since and are worth your consideration.
This re-loadable prepaid Visa debit card is ideal for those with no access to traditional bank accounts. The absence of a credit check ensures everyone qualifies, too. This prepaid card eliminates those expensive check cashing fees and it’s faster than waiting for a paper check.
Most taxpayers report seeing their tax refunds applied within a week and it eliminates the dangers of carrying cash money, too. Finally, this card can be used as either a credit or debit card and is perfect for paying bills, shopping online or any other conveniences a credit card offers.
Issued by Meta Bank, the AccountNow Prepaid Master Card guarantees instant approval with no worries about credit checks. Not only that, but as you’re spending your income tax refund, your payment history is reported to all three main credit bureaus each month.
Another benefit to the AccountNow card is the lack of an annual fee. A service fee, charged monthly, applies and is based on which AccountNow plan you select. There are two; the Classic Plan charges $4.95 while the Premium Plan charges $9.95.
Along with being able to have your tax refund loaded, you can also select direct deposit along with other cash load options to keep your card with cash. Premium plan users also have the added option of paying their bills online at no extra cost.
This is one of the more popular prepaid card options on the market today, partly because of its many features and benefits, including complimentary customer service around the clock, mobile banking, free direct deposits and access to emergency cash. There are many ways to reload your READYdebit, too. It’s fully FDIC insured, making it a safe choice.
Like its counterparts, there’s no credit check and you have the convenience of online bill pay, money sharing and of course, the option of having your tax refund posted to your debit card. Continue to use your card after tax season and you’ll enjoy many benefits not listed here.
As we mentioned, there are many prepaid debit card offers on the market today. You want to be sure that first, the IRS or your state has your choice on its approved debit card lists, but also, be sure to carefully review the terms and conditions associated with any you might be considering. Understanding the fees can be a bit tricky, partly because some have monthly fees while others have annual fees – it can get a little confusing. A bit of patience will serve your efforts well.
Before we know it, tax season will be just a distant memory again until next year. Be sure yours is stress free and being prepared is one of the best ways to keep that stress at bay.
- Not All Prepaid Debit Cards Are Created Equal
- Qualify for Tax Exemption on Forgiven Credit Card Debt?
- A Look at New Prepaid Card Offers
- Prepaid Debit Cards: the Pros and Cons
- Visa, MasterCard: Contests & Sweepstakes
- Charge it! – Paying Your Taxes
- READYDebit Visa Card – Convinience, Savings & Freedom