Virginia Tax Refund Debit Card
Beginning in 2013, if you do not use direct deposit, your income tax refund will be issued on a prepaid debit card instead of a paper check. The 2012-14 Appropriations Act (Virginia's budget for 2012-14) requires that income tax refunds be issued by direct deposit or on a prepaid debit card beginning with tax year 2012 returns, as a cost-savings initiative. If you do not select direct deposit when you file your return, you will receive a debit card.
Virginia Tax Refund Debit Cards are safer than checks, and more convenient, too. There are many ways to use your refund debit card for free (fees do apply to some transactions).
- Important Update Regarding the new Refund Debit Card Program
- What is the Virginia Tax Refund Debit Card?
- Using Your Virginia Tax Refund Debit Card
- Getting Started
- Who to Contact if You Have Questions
- Frequently Asked Questions Español (PDF 77Kb)
- Fee Schedule
- Important ATM Safety Tips
- News Release
- Sample Virginia Tax Refund Debit Card
- Sample Card Carrier (PDF 396Kb) Español (PDF 602 Kb)
- Refund Options (PDF 190Kb) Español (PDF 196 Kb)
- Virginia Tax Refund Debit Card Information Sheet (PDF 66Kb) Español (186Kb)
- Go Program® Website
- MoneyPass® ATM Locator
MasterCard® Member Bank or Credit Union Locator
Link opens a MasterCard® ATM locator. Many are located in MasterCard® member banks and credit unions.
A recent problem with the new Refund Debit Cards has been identified where a small number of taxpayers were inaccurately assessed a fee by the debit card vendor, Xerox, when they transferred funds from their debit card to their bank account. Xerox has corrected this error and any incorrect fees have been reimbursed.
In addition, some language on Xerox’s Go Program website and automated phone system related to transfers was incorrectly stated and caused confusion to some taxpayers. Xerox has now corrected that language.
Specific questions have also been raised about fees when calling the Go Program for customer service. Those fees are explained in detail in the information that accompanies each Refund Debit Card and are also posted here.
Below is a statement issued from Xerox State and Local Solutions, Inc.
In 2012 the Commonwealth contracted Xerox Corporation to disburse personal tax refunds via debit card to Virginians who did not opt to receive their refunds by direct deposit. Card programs such as this one are complex to execute, and it’s not unusual to encounter some challenges during implementation. In Virginia, we have been made aware of and have worked with Xerox to address a small number of erroneous fees for bank transfers and to update some language on the program’s Web site and automated phone system to clarify applicable card fees and other features regarding bank transfers.
Cardholders are allowed one free fund transfer from the card to a bank account. A small number of cardholders were inappropriately charged for making bank transfers for which the transfer fee did not apply. The fewer than two dozen people who were inaccurately charged this fee have been reimbursed by Xerox.
Some language on the Web site and the automated phone system for the personal tax refund card may have been confusing to cardholders. Xerox has updated and clarified that language.
In very specific cases Xerox reimbursed cardholders for chargeable calls to the call center because they may have previously received potentially inaccurate information from a customer service representative.
Xerox has reaffirmed its commitment to work closely with the Virginia Department of Taxation to work through any future issues, aiming to ensure the personal tax refund card program runs smoothly for Virginians and maximizes savings for the Commonwealth.
Overall the new Debit Card program has been successful with very few glitches. To date we have issued over 250,000 refunds on debit cards and the majority of taxpayers have been able to easily access their funds through point-of-sale use, bank withdrawals, ATM withdrawals and bank transfers.
We apologize for any frustration and inconvenience these problems may have caused.
If you have questions or feel you were affected by these problems, please contact us at (804) 367-8031 or through Live Chat.
The Virginia Tax Refund Debit Card is a MasterCard® debit card that gives you easy access to your tax refund. The Commonwealth has contracted with Xerox State and Local Solutions, Inc., to use their Go Program® to manage the Virginia Tax Refund Debit Card program.
Benefits of Refund Debit Cards
- Safer than checks
- More convenient to use
- No more check cashing fees
You can use your Refund Debit Card the same way you would use any other prepaid debit card. Go shopping, pay a bill online, buy dinner - it's good anywhere that MasterCard® is accepted!
Turn your refund debit card into cash in any of the following ways:
Cash out your debit card in full at any MasterCard® member bank (find one near you). It doesn’t have to be a bank that you have an account with; it can be any MasterCard® member bank. Just look for the MasterCard® brand logo on the door. You are entitled to one free withdrawal of funds from a bank teller. Any subsequent withdrawal will have a fee. To withdraw all your money, be sure to have your card balance with you when you visit the bank.
Withdraw cash from any MoneyPass® ATM. You are entitled to one free ATM withdrawal of funds from a MoneyPass® ATM per month. Subsequent ATM withdrawals within the same month will have a fee. Find a MoneyPass® ATM near you.
Transfer the funds from the debit card to your own bank account by contacting the Go Program®. You are entitled to one free transfer of funds from the debit card. Any subsequent transfers will incur a fee.
- Use the debit card to make purchases. This is free every time. You can also request cash back at point-of-sale for free.
And remember – there are other ways to use your refund debit card for free, such as making purchases and paying bills online
Activate Your Card
Before using your Refund Debit Card, you must activate it through Xerox's Go Program®. As part of this process, you'll be asked to verify who you are by providing certain information from your tax return, and to create a four-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN). The PIN you select will be known only to you and protects your card from being used by someone else. Do not write your PIN on your card, and don't share it with anyone else.
To activate your card:
- Visit the GoProgram® website, or
- Call toll free, (855) 409-0580 and follow the prompts
You must contact the Go Program® to activate your card. Neither the Go Program® nor the Department of Taxation will ever call or email you to ask for your personal information in connection with activating your refund debit card, unless you have specifically asked to be contacted to resolve a problem. If you receive an unsolicited call or email asking you for personal information, you should refuse to respond and report the incident to the Department of Taxation at (804) 367-8031 immediately.
Your Refund Amount
When you activate your card, you'll be provided with the card balance. This is the amount of your income tax refund. Funds will be available immediately upon activating your card.
If the refund amount is not what you expected, you should receive a letter explaining why the amount is different within 10 days. If you do not receive this letter, please contact the Virginia Department of Taxation. Learn why your refund may have been reduced.
If you filed using the Married Filing a Joint Return status, you will receive two cards, one issued in each spouse's name. Both spouses are entitled to access the joint refund, but each spouse must activate his or her own refund debit card in order to access the funds. The activation of a refund card by one spouse will not activate the other spouse’s card.
If you have questions about your tax refund, contact the Department.
Last Updated 4/12/2013 9:54