Do I need a bank account to cash my income tax check?

Written by bonnie conrad | 13/05/2017
Do I need a bank account to cash my income tax check?
Watch the fees when cashing your refund check. (TAX TIME image by brelsbil from

Having a bank account is a real convenience, but you can cash your income tax refund check even if you do not have a bank account. You might encounter some fees and expenses you would not face if you had a bank account, but check-cashing stores and money services can turn your tax refund into spending cash.

Check-Cashing Stores

Many neighbourhoods have at least one check cashing outlet. These check cashing outlets cater to people who do not have bank accounts. The outlets provide not only check cashing services but services such as payday loans as well. Shop around before using such a service; the cost to cash a tax refund check can vary from store to store.

Money Services

Many retail outlets also provide check-cashing services. You can use these services to cash your official government checks, including tax refunds and unemployment checks. Contact each outlet and determine what fees and expenses you will face. Not all money centres charge the same rates to cash a tax refund check.

Family and Friends

Chances are you know someone who has a bank account, even if you do not. You might want to ask a family member or friend who does have a bank account to cash your tax refund check. The family member or friend can either cash the check for you, or deposit the check and give you the cash. You need to endorse the check over to your friend or family member by signing the back of the check.

Local Banks

Some banks might be willing to cash a tax refund check even for people who do not have an account at that institution. Before turning to a check-cashing store and facing those high fees, call banks and credit unions and ask if they would be willing to cash your tax refund check for you. Calling around saves you from wasting time and gas money on banks that turn out to be unwilling to cash your tax refund check.

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