When we receive a refund of tax we’ve already paid, it’s a lot like discovering unexpected money in the bank.

Everyone likes to see either a windowed envelope containing the state’s check arrive in the mail -- or perhaps an electronic entry in a bank statement that the refund has already been deposited safely.  

Once in a while, however, there is a problem. In the following pages you can find directions on what to do if your refund is lost; if you make a mistake in the bank’s routing number for a direct deposit of your refund, or more rarely, if another state agency intercepts your refund to satisfy a debt you owe to it or its clients. We also offer hints on how to prevent refund mistakes altogether.

Take the time to check the refund pages. Doing so can make your life a little easier.

Direct Deposit

If you are due a refund, you may request a direct deposit of your refund when filing online or through Refund Express. To choose Refund Express complete the “Refund Express” portion on page 2 of Form PIT-1. All fields are required. The bank routing number, account number and the type of account must be entered.

You must also indicate whether the refund will go to or through an account outside the territorial jurisdiction of the United States*. If it does, or if you do not mark the boxes, Refund Express is not an option. Refund Express is available for deposits to your account only. You may not request the funds to be deposited into the account of another payee.

We mail a paper check if the bank does not accept the Refund Express information.

Reasons to Use Refund Express:

  • Avoid delays that may occur in mailing checks. Refund Express does not guarantee earlier receipt of a refund, only that when the check is issued, it will reach the bank faster;
  • Payment is more secure because there is no check to be lost or stolen;
  • It is more convenient. There is no trip to the bank to make a deposit;
  • It saves tax dollars because a refund by direct deposit costs less than a check, and
  • Refund Express is environmentally friendly. Refunds deposited directly into a bank account reduce the need for paper.

A financial institution is located within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States if it is:

  • within the United States;
  • on a United States Military Base, or
  • in American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands.

*New federal banking rules require that you answer this question. A refund sent to an account at a financial institution outside the territorial jurisdiction of the United States, even if the payment passes through a U.S. financial institution, may not be made using this refund option. You may select a different bank account, or you may leave the Refund Express portion of your return blank and a paper check will be mailed to you.

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