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How Can I Have My IRS Federal Tax Refund Deposited Into More Than One Checking Account?

Updated on February 6, 2018
Form 8888 Allocation of Refund (Including Savings bond Purchases)
Form 8888 Allocation of Refund (Including Savings bond Purchases) | Source

IRS Form 8888, Allocation of Refund, allows you to split your refund check into up to 3 accounts

Yes, you can split your federal tax refund into different accounts at U.S. financial institutions. By completing IRS Form 8888, Allocation of Refund, at the time of filing, taxpayers may split their refund into as many as 3 accounts or use some of it for the purchase of U.S. Series I Savings Bonds. If your financial institution will accept direct deposits, you can even have a portion of your refund deposited into a mutual fund, brokerage account, or credit union.

You cannot have your refund deposited into an account that you, the taxpayer, or your spouse, if filing Married Filing Jointly, is not an account owner.

Common Scenario:

Suppose you get a larger refund than expected and you want to save most of it before you have a chance to spend it. You may want a small amount placed into your checking account to pay off some bills. Some of the refund can be used to purchase U.S. Series I Savings Bonds for you, your children or grandchildren. The rest can be put away in a savings account for a rainy day or to be used towards a major purchase, such as a car or a house, that you plan to buy in the future. Finally, you can even have your refund direct deposited into a mutual fund or brokerage account and use it to fund your IRA.

Uncommon Scenario:

A few years ago, clients in my tax office used this option in a rather unusual way. The couple, while still married at the end of the year, were going through a rather nasty divorce. Despite their differences, they could at least agree that they should file married filing jointly, optimizing their deductions and maximizing their refund. After their return was completed and the total amount of the refund was known, the only thing left to decide was whether the refund would come as a check or be deposited into one of the taxpayer's checking accounts.

Neither of the clients trusted the other (I guess that is why they were getting a divorce). Neither was happy with the thought of having the refund deposited into the others account and hoping they would eventually get their agreed upon share. Enter the option of using Form 8888, Allocation of Refund. By using this form, I was able to have the agreed upon portions of their joint refund directly deposited into each their respective checking accounts. They were both comfortable knowing that they would each get their agreed upon share of the refund and it would be directly deposited into their own account. The other spouse would have no access to or control over their respective share. The IRS would split the refund for them.

How to use Form 8888:

1. Savings and/or checking accounts (or mutual fund or brokerage account) must be set up with a U.S. financial institution prior to filing the return.

2. Direct deposit of the refund can only be made into an account (or accounts) in the taxpayer's name(s).

3. Taxpayers should make sure their financial institution will accept direct deposits for their account and they should supply correct routing and account numbers to their tax preparer (or for entry into their return if they are preparing it themselves).

4. Taxpayers can purchase up to $5000 worth of U.S. Series I Savings Bonds for themselves or others (including children or grandchildren) using Form 8888.

Form 8888 can be used with 1040EZ, 1040A, or 1040 forms, with any filing status, and with either e-filing or paper filing of the return.

Receiving a refund is the only requirement for Form 8888 that does not have an option.

Check out the links below for more information.


Any federal tax or tax planning information provided above or linked to this article is not meant to be specific to any particular individual or situation. Anyone who wishes to apply this information should first discuss it with their accountant or tax professional to determine its appropriateness or how it specifically applies to their unique situation.

© 2012 bankscottage


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    • bankscottage profile image

      bankscottage 3 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks for the tip Paul. Much appreciated.

    • profile image

      Paul Davidson 3 years ago

      Just in case anyone need to fill out a IRS form 8888, I found a blank form in this link This site PDFfiller also has several related forms that you might find useful.

    • bankscottage profile image

      bankscottage 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I Series bonds are inflation adjust and since they are issued by the US government, they are secure (we won't debate that here). So for a younger investor they may not be great idea. But, for an older investor close to retirement they may be a good idea. Likewise, for a grandparent to save for a grandchild's college education (but a 529 plan may be a better idea in this case).

    • MeanGreen profile image

      MeanGreen 6 years ago

      Who would benefit the most out of sending a portion of their return to U.S. Savings Bonds? I have some bonds (although mostly through ETF's/corporations), but try to be aggressive in my investments while I am still relatively young.

    • bankscottage profile image

      bankscottage 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks for your comment. I appreciate it. For my clients, it was thinking outside the box to make the system work for them.

    • MeanGreen profile image

      MeanGreen 6 years ago

      nice hub. voted up and marked as useful.