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TurboTax tax refund advance review

Last updated:  

A fully online application sets this provider apart from the crowd.

  • Best for a smaller advance that you can apply for online.
  • Pick something else if you don't want your whole refund on a prepaid debit card.

Varies

Tax preparation fee

0%

APR

February 7, 2020 or until funds run out

Application deadline

Details

Product nameIntuit TurboTax Tax Refund Advance
Maximum advance amount$2,000
Minimum advance amount$250
APR0%
TurnaroundAs soon as 1 hour
Tax preparation feeVaries
Application deadlineFebruary 7, 2020 or until funds run out
States servicedAvailable everywhere except Illinois, North Carolina, Rhode Island, or Vermont
RequirementsFederal refund of $500+; e-file with TurboTax; ages 18+; not filing a 1310, 1040SS, 1040PR, 1040X, 8888 or 8862 form; not filing an Illinois, North Carolina, Rhode Island or Vermont state tax return

Expert review

Kellye Guinan

Review by


Kellye Guinan is a writer and editor with Finder and has years of experience in academic writing and research. Between her passion for books and her love of language, she works on creating stories and volunteering her time on worthy causes. She lives in the woods and likes to find new bug friends in between reading just a little too much nonfiction.

Expert review

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 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 and a low maximum refund amount of $2,000, 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 funds directly deposited into your bank account — you’re stuck getting your entire advance on a prepaid debit card.

Rather apply for a personal loan instead? Compare your options below.

TurboTax tax refund advance requirements

To qualify for a tax refund advance from Intuit TurboTax, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • Federal refund is at least $500
  • E-filing your federal tax return through TurboTax
  • At least 18 years old
  • Not filing an Illinois, North Carolina, Rhode Island or Vermont state tax return
  • 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 not listed.

How TurboTax’s tax refund advance works

Rather than filling out a separate application, you can select a refund advance as part of the tax-filing process when e-filing 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 days. However, Intuit will also email you your temporary card information within 48 hours so you can start spending your advance immediately. When 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 refundMaximum advance
$500 to $999$250
$1,000 to $1,499$500
$1,500 to $1,999$750
$2,000 to $2,999$1,000
$3,000 to 3,999$1,500
$4,000+$2,000

How much does it cost?

Intuit TurboTax doesn’t charge any interest on your refund advance. However, you will need to pay a tax preparation fee to file through TurboTax, which varies by filing status. 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.

How do I apply?

You can apply online by e-filing your taxes through Intuit TurboTax. Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Visit Intuit TurboTax’s website and click Start for free.
  2. Sign in to your TurboTax online account or create one by selecting the service that best fits your finances.
  3. Select Refund Advance as your refund option, then file your taxes.

If approved, you may have access to your advance within an hour by receiving an email with your temporary card information. TurboTax will then send you your permanent prepaid debit card within five to 10 business days.

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.

So, what’s the catch?

There are a few reasons you may want to skip Intuit TurboTax and go with a different provider:

  • Lower advance amount. Maximum advance amounts of just $2,000 is on the low end compared to other providers. If you qualify for a large refund, you may want to pick a different provider. But if you only qualify for a $500 advance, this may not matter.
  • Limited time offer. Intuit TurboTax cuts its program off on February 3, 2020 — nearly three weeks earlier than its competitors Jackson Hewitt and H&R Block. And it only offers advances as long as funds are available, so if money runs out, the deadline may come sooner.
  • Some states are ineligible. You won’t qualify for a tax refund advance from Intuit TurboTax if you’re a resident of Illinois, North Carolina, Rhode Island or Vermont.

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.

3 tax prep sites like TurboTax

Refund advance amountAPRTax preparation feeDeadlineOnline application
H&R Block$250 to $3,5000%Yes, but not statedFebruary 29, 2020NoRead review
Jackson Hewitt$200 to $3,2000%Starts at $48February 23, 2020NoRead review
Liberty Tax Service$500 to $6,25035.99%Not statedFebruary 28, 2020NoRead review

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Miss the deadline to file with TurboTax? Read our guide to personal loans to explore your other options instead.

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