Post User Polls

Do you want your tax return on a government-issued prepaid card?

The U.S. Treasury Department is sending letters to 600,000 people this week encouraging them to sign up to receive their tax return on a new government-issued prepaid card.

By Jodi Westrick  |  January 14, 2011; 11:30 AM ET  | Category:  National Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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so which dem company would be processing the debit card...
obama enriches the rich at the expense of the poor...

Posted by: DwightCollins | January 15, 2011 5:55 AM

Why is the government further encouraging people to live day-to-day?

Posted by: antispy | January 15, 2011 6:39 AM

Please get the terminology right. It is not a "tax return" but a TAX REFUND.

The return is what you submit.
The refund is what you get back (maybe)

Posted by: kidvid | January 15, 2011 8:21 AM

It's a REFUND not a tax return

Posted by: kidvid | January 15, 2011 8:23 AM

If you use tax preparation software, you can elect to have your refund direct deposited to your bank account. This is the easiest and fastest way to receive it.

And yes, it is a "refund." The "return" is the hard copy or electronic paperwork that you submit to the IRS.

Posted by: ancient_mariner | January 15, 2011 8:51 AM

I thought we would be able to file our income tax returns on a post card. That would be great. Our tax laws have become monstrously complicated. It's not that easy even with tax software. The rich can afford a CPA to do their taxes and exploit every loophole.

When can we simplify our tax returns by taxing everyone the same rate above the poverty level and without any income limits on FICA or Medicare taxes?

This country spends too much resources on insurance, banking and taxes, and too little on productive innovations.

Why should we use more plastic cards, which is bad for our environment? We can just use direct deposits, can't we?

Posted by: dummy4peace | January 15, 2011 10:53 AM

How is this better than direct deposit?

Posted by: AxelDC | January 15, 2011 11:03 AM

You guys aren't understanding this. The idea is that these cards would be for people WITHOUT bank accounts, generally the poorest among us. They get their refunds on the card, and then can use it like a debit card, so they don't need to go to a ripoff check-cashing place and then carry around cash.

Posted by: JoeDalhart | January 15, 2011 11:47 AM

That explains it.

Posted by: dummy4peace | January 15, 2011 12:27 PM

DwightCollins asked "so which dem company would be processing the debit card?"

How about Halliburton? Ooops, they're still counting their billions from Iraq.

Posted by: Garak | January 15, 2011 1:17 PM

I'm assuming you mean do you want your tax REFUND on a card. Returns are what you file. Refunds are the $$$ you get back.

Posted by: rosepetals64 | January 15, 2011 2:36 PM

The questions was poorly worded AND incomplete. Didn't an editor look at this before it was published. 1) return vs. refund, and 2) for those without direct deposit.
Worst "minor" poll in WaPo history? Sorry, guys. Try again.

Posted by: pjohn2 | January 15, 2011 4:11 PM

Bogus all around, unless one had a clear option and it was never made otherwise. Not only would a card potentially allow one's private transactions to be tracked, but it would also limit how that money could be used, such as deposited in some kind of account (unless no-fee cash transfers could be made with it, and then, what's the point?)

Posted by: lindsaycurren | January 15, 2011 6:30 PM

Give the Post a break. It is obvious that an intern with zero experience put this one together or there would have been an option for those of us who have used direct deposit for years. And online headline writers are programming geeks, not writers, so we can't expect correct word usage there either. Like I said, give the Post a break.

Posted by: streff | January 15, 2011 7:40 PM

As noted, the intent of this was to get away from paper checks for people who can't use direct deposit because they don't have a bank account. No need to pay some ripoff check-cashing operation, and depending on how they set it up, it might even invoke some of the consumer protections that come with debit cards and allow for replacement if the card is lost. Try that with cash. Doesn't seem like such a bad idea, really.

Posted by: A_Reader | January 15, 2011 10:50 PM

I've been getting my refund direct deposited to a debit card for 3 or four years. I have no bank accounts. I can pay bills and purchase items for little or no charge. With "free" checking fast disappearing there will be little difference soon.

Posted by: mrcomptech | January 15, 2011 10:56 PM

Assuming my return is for $3,000, I would not want the full amount on a card. Many people use their return to pay bills. How can I pay my bills with a card that is similiar to a gift card. I use online banking to pay bills. A card would cause a headache.

Posted by: GBED989 | January 15, 2011 11:14 PM

;;;remember BUSH gave us 12.8 trillion $ of our 14 trillion $ deficit before he left office !!

Posted by: bbccmm | January 15, 2011 11:35 PM

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