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If you’re expecting a tax refund after filing your taxes, the quickest way to receive it is to set up direct deposit with the IRS when you file. This way, your refund will be deposited directly into your bank account. Here’s how to set it up. 

Benefits of direct deposit with the IRS

Choosing direct deposit over receiving a check in the mail has many benefits: It’s secure and convenient, gets you your tax refund sooner, and even allows you to deposit your refund into multiple accounts. 

Faster tax refunds

Whether you file electronically or on paper, direct deposit gives you access to your refund faster than you would if you were to wait for your check to arrive in the mail. 

Secure and convenient 

Identity theft and fraud are significant concerns when receiving money from the government. When you set up direct deposit with the IRS, you avoid the risk of having your mailed tax return stolen or tampered with.

Option to send your tax refund to multiple accounts

The IRS lets you split your refund across up to three accounts. 

If you choose, you can deposit part of your refund to your everyday checking account and the rest in a savings account for future savings goals

Get your federal tax refund up to six days early* when you direct deposit with Chime and file directly with the IRS.

How to set up direct deposit with the IRS

Whether you file your taxes electronically or send a paper tax return, you can elect for direct deposit. Here’s how to do it: 

  • When filing your taxes, select direct deposit as the refund method. You can do this whether using tax software or working with a tax preparer to file your taxes.
  • Enter your bank account and routing numbers for the account where you want to receive your refund. You can locate these through your bank’s mobile app or website. You can also find your routing number on a check if you have paper checks on hand. 
  • Double-check your account and routing numbers for accuracy before submitting. 

The IRS processes most refunds in less than 21 calendar days.¹  You can use the Where’s My Refund? tool to check on the status of your refund.

An illustration accompanies a list of three steps explaining how to set up direct deposit with the IRS.

Can I change my direct deposit information with the IRS online after filing?

Once you submit your tax return, you can’t change or update any information. If you think you’ve made an error, you’ll likely need to file for an amended return.²

Suppose you already submitted your tax return but need to correct your direct deposit information or other details like your filing status, income, deductions, or credits. In that case, you can file an amended return using Form 1040-X

Can I get my tax return by direct deposit if I don't have a bank account?

You have options if you don’t have a bank account and still want to set up direct deposit with the IRS. 

  • If you want to open a new bank account: To open a new checking account, select the financial institution you want to open an account with and gather the required documents required to open the account. At minimum, you’ll need a government ID such as a driver’s license. You can open a new checking account with Chime in minutes with no monthly fees. 
  • If you don’t want to open a new bank account: Alternatively, you can have your refund applied to a prepaid debit card. Many prepaid cards have account and routing numbers that you can use to set up direct deposit with the IRS. Just be sure to check with the financial institution that the card comes with a routing and account number (which may differ from the card number).


Set up direct deposit to get your money faster

Beyond its speed and security, direct deposit simplifies the tax refund process by putting money directly into your account. Take charge of your finances by following the steps above for a faster and safer way to access your funds. 

Learn more about how to set up direct deposit with Chime

Chime® is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services are provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC. The Chime Visa® Debit Card and the Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card are issued by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa debit and credit cards are accepted. Please see the back of your Card for its issuing bank.

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* Chime does not guarantee timing of refund. Six day refund estimate is based on 2022 tax year filing data. Refund timing estimates are dependent upon timing of complete tax return submission and other requirements.

1 Information from IRS’s Tax Season Refund Frequently Asked Questions as of November 20, 2023:

2 Information from IRS’s Topic No. 308, Amended Returns as of November 20, 2023:

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