Wal-Mart to give consumers a cash tax refund option at its stores

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 105 views 

Tax refund time is important for retailers and Wal-Mart who will again use their services platforms to help shoppers complete their 2014 income taxes. The retail giant announced this year a cash option for its customers who have their returns completed by Jackson Hewitt located inside more than 3,000 Walmart Stores.

This option is an alternative to consumers who don’t have a bank account and can’t take advantage of the direct deposit option. These consumers typically get a paper check which has to be cashed, incurring fees.

Customers who chose the cash option can receive federal and state refunds from Wal-Mart. They'll get a confirmation code via email that they'll have to present at the store, along with identification.

The retail giant said it has an agreement with 25,000 tax preparers to arrange for the in-store refunds. The service is not available to taxpayers who prepare their taxes online.

Wal-Mart said it will not charge for the cash option, but the tax preparers may charge up to $7 to arrange the payment, noting that this fee is less than typical check cashing fees.

"It's always a good thing to have customers in our stores who have jingles in their wallets and their pockets," Daniel Eckert, senior vice president for services for Wal-Mart, told the media.

Eckert said the service is targeted mostly at customers who don't have bank accounts. An in-store refund won't necessarily be faster or cheaper than getting one via direct deposit.

The average federal refund check this year will come to $2,900, according to Eckert. Wal-Mart will hand out cash refunds of up to $7,500.

"Tax refunds can be one of the largest financial payouts of the year for many of our customers, and the last thing they want is to wait for their refund check to arrive and then spend money on unnecessary fees," Eckert said.