The April 15 Metro article “Fees could eat into tax refunds on debit cards” raised one problem with Virginia’s decision to use MasterCard debit cards for tax refunds, rather than issuing checks. There is, however, a more important problem: Not all financial institutions deal with MasterCard. This reality was lost on me until I tried to unlock my 2012 tax refund.
I filed my return through tax software, so I was unaware that, by not using the direct-deposit option for my refund, I would be saddling myself with a debit card. (Virginia does not send tax forms or instructions to those who use software to file their returns.) When I went to my credit union to deposit the four-figure refund, I was told that it handled only Visa cards — and that I was the 10th customer that day to face this problem.