Internal Revenue Service United States Department of the Treasury
Level Basic Advanced Military International

Refund and Amount of Tax Owed

Summary and Exercises

Summary

Refunds

If the total tax payments are greater than the tax liability, this is considered an overpayment and the taxpayer can:

  • Receive a refund by check or direct deposit, or
  • Apply any portion of the overpayment to the next year's estimated tax

Remember that taxpayers can choose to direct deposit their refund into an account at a financial institution. For direct deposit of the refund into one account, enter the routing transit number (RTN) and depositor account number (DAN) on the tax software's Main Information Sheet and Form 1040, page 2. Use a check as proof of account. When the return is printed, this information will appear on the applicable lines in the Refund section of Form 1040. In addition, Form 8888 can be used to split the refund in up to three different accounts. Form 8888 has been revised to reflect more options.

Taxpayers can use their refund to buy U.S. savings bonds for themselves or others. They do not need to have a bank account or an existing account with Treasury.