TurboTax refund advance review
A fully online application sets this provider apart from the crowd.
Bottom line: If you plan on filing with Intuit TurboTax, you can have a portion of your refund advanced on the same day. But the deadline to qualify is February 15, 2021 — and you’ll only be able to get your funds through a prepaid debit card. Read our full review.
$0 to $120 (DIY); $50 to $290+ (tax expert files)
Tax preparation fee
February 15, 2021
|Product name||Intuit TurboTax Tax Refund Advance|
|Maximum advance amount||$4,000|
|Minimum advance amount||$250|
|Turnaround||Typically 3 hours|
|Tax preparation fee||$0 to $120 (DIY); $50 to $290+ (tax expert files)|
|Application deadline||February 15, 2021|
|States serviced||Available everywhere except Illinois and North Carolina|
|Requirements||Federal refund of $500+; must file with TurboTax; ages 18+; not filing a 1310, 1040SS, 1040PR, 1040X, 8888 or 8862 form|
- Relatively high advance amount of $4,000
- No cost if you use TurboTax’s free edition
- Withdraw cash for free from its network of ATMs
- Access advance as soon as an hour after approval
- Must file before February 15, 2021 to qualify
- Not available in IL or NC
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Intuit TurboTax offers tax refund advances with no interest and a fully online application process. You’ll receive a portion of your tax refund as an advance when you e-file with TurboTax — there’s no separate application. And your credit score won’t be the only factor that determines your approval decision. The size of your federal refund and your tax information will also play a role.
But with a shorter window to grab an advance, it may not be the right choice if you received your W-2s late or want a larger advance. And you can’t get your advance or tax refund directly deposited into your bank account. You’re stuck getting your entire advance on a prepaid debit card.
You can compare other tax advance options if you’re willing to file with another company.
How TurboTax’s tax refund advance works
Rather than filling out a separate application, you can select a refund advance as your refund option when you e-file with TurboTax.
You’ll receive your advance on a prepaid debit card, the Turbo Visa Debit Card, which will be mailed to you within five to 10 business days. However, Intuit will also email you your temporary card information within 48 hours of being approved by the IRS.
Once your refund is processed by the IRS, the rest of your funds will be loaded onto your debit card — minus the advance you already received and your tax preparation fee.
How much you’re able to receive is based on the size of your expected federal refund:
|Expected federal refund||Maximum advance|
$500 to $999
$1,000 to $1,499
$1,500 to $1,999
$2,000 to $2,999
$3,000 to 3,999
$4,000 to $4,999
$5,000 to $5,999
$6,000 to $6,999
$7,000 to $7,999
$8,000 or more
How much does it cost?
Intuit TurboTax doesn’t charge any interest on your refund advance. However, you might need to pay a tax preparation fee to file through TurboTax. The cost depends on whether you do it yourself or choose to file with a tax professional. But you don’t have to pay this fee up front — you can have it taken out of your refund after the IRS processes it.
While TurboTax issues its refund on a Turbo Visa Debit Card, you can withdraw cash at no cost from its network of 19,000 ATMs. These are available in every state.
How to qualify
To qualify for a tax refund advance from Intuit TurboTax, you must file your federal tax return through TurboTax by February 8, 2021. You also need to meet the following requirements:
- Federal refund of $500 or more
- At least 18 years old
- Not filing as an Illinois or North Carolina resident
- Not filing a 1310, 1040SS, 1040PR, 1040X, 8888 or 8862 form
TurboTax offers its refund advances through Green Dot Bank, which might have additional eligibility requirements that are not listed.
What documents do I need to apply?
Intuit TurboTax doesn’t list any additional documents you need to apply for the tax refund advance, though you’ll definitely need to have your W-2 and last year’s tax information to e-file your taxes through Intuit TurboTax.
Will applying affect my credit?
No, applying for a tax refund advance with Intuit TurboTax won’t affect your credit. However, Green Dot Bank may perform a soft pull of your credit to confirm you meet its eligibility requirements when you apply through Intuit TurboTax.
TurboTax reviews and complaints
|BBB customer reviews||1.29 out of 5 stars, based on 203 customer reviews|
|Trustpilot Score||2.5 out of 5 stars, based on 12 customer reviews|
|Customer reviews verified as of||08 February 2021|
TurboTax gets mostly negative reviews. Many are upset over having to pay a fee for TurboTax’s services after using the free version for years. And several report having trouble reaching customer service or getting a refund. If you’ve used TurboTax for free in the past, make sure you’re still eligible before you sign up. The Free Edition is for simple tax returns only.
Compare tax refund advances like TurboTax
See how TurboTax fares against other tax advance options.
How do I apply?
You can apply online by e-filing your taxes through Intuit TurboTax. Follow these steps to get started:
- Visit Intuit TurboTax’s website and click Get started.
- Sign in to your TurboTax online account or create one by selecting the service that best fits your finances.
- Select Refund advance as your refund option, then file your taxes.
If approved for an advance, you may have access to your advance within an hour of the IRS processing your refund by receiving an email with your temporary card information. You can use this to shop online the same day you apply.
TurboTax will then send you your permanent prepaid debit card within 5 to 10 business days.
Frequently asked questions
Our answers to more questions asked about Intuit TurboTax.
Does it cost anything to use the Turbo Visa Debit Card?
No. There are no monthly, overdraft, minimum balance or inactivity fees. You will also have access to an ATM network without withdrawal fees.
Does TurboTax offer free tax preparation services?
Yes, you might be able to file your taxes for fee with Intuit TurboTax if you have a simple tax return Form 1040 without schedules 1, 2 or 3.