Action Line: Oklahoma using debit cards for tax refunds instead of checks
BY PHIL MULKINS World Action Line Editor
Thursday, April 19, 2012
4/19/12 at 4:44 AM
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Dear Action Line: We got a tax refund from the state. We were expecting a check, but instead we each received a MasterCard debit Way2Go Card with the same refund amount on both cards. I don't remember reading anything about this method instead of getting a check. Can we just cash the card at our bank? - D.L.H., Tulsa.
You don't get double your legal refund, and trying to use the cards simultaneously at different locations across town would only result in one of them being declined.
The Oklahoma State Treasurer's notice to banks and credit unions states, "The taxpayer should know their balance to the penny if they intend to withdraw all or part of the card funds. If they do not know this it could result in a decline."
Go Program cards: The state's Go Program, featuring the "Way2Go Card" debit MasterCard, was created by House Bill 1086, the Transparency, Accountability and Innovation in Oklahoma State Government 2.0 Act of 2011. The Office of State Finance said it will save the Oklahoma Tax Commission $3.6 million in check processing and mailing costs.
Joint filers: The commission website, accessible at tulsaworld.com/GoProgramFAQ, answers questions about the program, including, "Each spouse will receive a debit card which can be activated by them with full and equal access to the refund amount." Using your State Treasury refund account with the card's magnetic strip information extracts that amount from your account instantaneously.
Why the debit card: The debit card provides another electronic alternative to direct deposit into your checking or savings account. The debit card also provides taxpayers who do not have a bank account with a refund payment option."
Card activation: Call 888-929-2460 and provide some basic information and the last four digits of your Social Security number, and be prepared to designate a "personal identification number" (PIN), and you can begin using your card at that time.
Where can you use the card: You can use the card anywhere MasterCard is accepted. At the gas station, grocery store, department store, online store and many more. You can also take the card and PIN number to any bank or credit union that accepts MasterCard and ask the teller for the full amount of the card balance in cash or deposit it into your checking or savings account. You can also withdraw funds from the card free of charge from any MoneyPass tulsaworld.com/MoneyPass ATM location in Oklahoma.
Tulsa ATMs: In Tulsa these include Central National Bank, 4880 S. Lewis Ave, Suite 101; Transfund, 2109 S. Sheridan Road; and Group Services Employees Federal Credit Union, 7777 E. 42nd Place.
Bank use proof of ID: For bank teller-assisted cash withdrawal, take your activated refund debit card and know the current balance on the card. Visit any MasterCard accepting bank or credit union teller and request a "cash advance" for the available amount of your debit card.
Most banks require some form of ID to prove you are the owner of the card. Some banks also enter your zip code as a verification to access the funds. In these instances give the teller the zip code used on your income tax return. Some people have more than one address such as a Post Office box and physical address. If you don't give the teller the zip code from your return, the transaction may decline.
Remember that the card must be activated prior to taking it to the bank to withdraw the funds.
Original Print Headline: State refunds on debit cards, not checks
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