House: Debit Card Tax Refunds Should Be Optional

May 9, 2012

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — House lawmakers have decided Louisiana taxpayers shouldn't be required to get their tax refunds on debit cards if they don't use direct deposit.

The House unanimously agreed Tuesday to a proposal by Jonesboro Rep. Jim Fannin that would allow people to continue to get a paper check if they don't want the debit card.

Louisiana's revenue department has replaced refund checks with pre-paid Chase Visa cards for taxpayers who don't get their refunds through direct deposit, as a way to save money.

But lawmakers say they received complaints from people who don't understand how to use the cards or have been charged fees when they do.

Under Fannin's bill, a taxpayer would be allowed to choose refund payment by check, debit card or direct deposit.