There is no better feeling than getting a nice big tax refund check in the mail by the United States Treasury. However, there may be a slight complication if you don’t have a bank account to deposit it in.
Not having a bank account is probably why you chose to receive a check in the first place rather than a direct deposit. To cash it, you need to find a business or storefront which offers to cash state and federal tax refund checks for people. Be prepared to pay a fee for this service if you elect to do it.
Can you cash a tax refund check at any bank? The quick answer is no; with a few exceptions, you cannot cash a check at a bank you do not have an account with. Read more insight into this in our article Can You Cash a Check at Any Bank?
With that said, you may be asking the following: Where can you cash a tax refund check without a bank account? As of 2023, the most popular place to cash your tax refund check without a bank account is Walmart. All you’ll need is the check and valid identification. If your government tax refund check is less than $1,000, you are only charged a $4 fee by Walmart. If your refund is over $1,000, you are charged an $8 fee. This is not that much money for cashing such a large check. Unfortunately, if your refund check is over $7,500, Walmart will not cash it.
If you go to a traditional check cashing business, such as Check ‘n Go, you are charged a fee based on a percentage of your check amount. For instance, if you receive a $1,500 tax refund and you cash the check at Check ‘n Go, your fee will be 2.49% of that amount. This translates to $37.35 for your fee. This fee may vary based on your location.
This is a much higher fee compared to the $8 that Walmart charges. So, why don’t more people go to Walmart to cash their refund checks? Well, a lot of people don’t realize they have this option. Storefronts which are solely in the business of cashing checks do a great job of advertising this fact. Walmart may have some advertisements about how they cash checks, but the message tends to get lost in the middle of everything else they advertise. This is what check cashing businesses are depending on.
The neat thing about cashing your refund check at Walmart is that you can choose to either receive the cash in-hand or have the money deposited onto a WalMart MoneyCard. The MoneyCard is a prepaid debit card issued by Visa and MasterCard. Wherever credit cards are accepted, you can use your MoneyCard to make purchases. Just be wary of the additional fees that the MoneyCard charges.
If you do not have a Walmart near you, Kroger-brand stores such as Fred Meyer, Ralphs, Food 4 Less, and Dillons offer a similar service for government tax refund checks.
Another option is a prepaid debit card. Some pre-paid debit cards allow you to load funds onto the card by cashing a check at the point of sale. This can be a convenient way to access the funds from your check if you don’t have a bank account.
Lastly, you can try your local credit union. Some credit unions may cash checks for non-members for a fee. You may be able to find a credit union in your area that offers this service by doing an online search or by contacting your local chamber of commerce.