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TurboTax refund advance review

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Our verdict

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

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 must set up a separate Credit Karma Money checking account.

You can compare other tax advance options if you're willing to file with another company.

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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 Credit Karma 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 deposited into a Credit Karma Money checking account — 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 to $4,999$2,000
$5,000 to $5,999$2,500
$6,000 to $6,999$3,000
$7,000 to $7,99$3,500
$8,000 or more$4,000

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 Credit Karma Visa Debit Card, you can withdraw cash at no cost from its network of 55,000 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 29, 2024. You also need to meet the following requirements:

  • You’re 18 or older.
  • Your expected federal refund amount is $500 or more.
  • You’re not a resident of North Carolina, Connecticut or Illinois.
  • You’re e-filing your federal tax return with TurboTax.
  • Your physical address is listed on your tax return. Your address must be located in one of the eligible states and can’t be a PO box or prison address.
  • You’re not filing one of these tax forms: 1310, 4852, 4684, 4868, 1040SS, 1040PR, 1040X, 8888 or 8862.
  • You aren’t filing on behalf of a deceased taxpayer.
  • You must report income on a Form W-2, 1099-R, or Sched C.
  • You must open or have an existing Credit Karma Money checking account.

TurboTax offers its refund advances through First Century 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, First Century 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 accredited No
BBB rating NR
BBB customer reviews 1.08 out of 5 stars, based on 540 customer reviews
Trustpilot Score 1.2 out of 5 stars, based on 344 customer reviews.
Customer reviews verified as of 27 February 2024

TurboTax gets mostly negative reviews. Many customers are upset over having to pay a fee for TurboTax’s services after using TurboTax Free Edition for years. And several reviews report having trouble reaching customer service or getting a refund. If you’ve used TurboTax Free Edition in the past, make sure you’re still eligible before you sign up. TurboTax Free Edition is for simple tax returns only.

Compare tax refund advances like TurboTax

See if you can find a better deal with TurboTax alternatives by comparing fees, application deadlines and more. Select Compare for up to four products to see their benefits side by side.

Name Product Refund advance amount APR Fee structure: Application deadline Online application
Intuit TurboTax tax refund advances
$250 – $4,000
$0 to $120 (DIY); $50 to $359+ (tax expert files)
February 15, 2024
Yes, by selecting "Refund Advance" as the refund option
Jackson Hewitt No Fee Refund Advance
$250 – $6,500
Not disclosed
February 11, 2024

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 select Get started.
  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 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 five to 10 business days.

Miss the deadline to file with TurboTax? Read our guide to other alternatives to tax refund advances. You can also browse alternatives to tax refund loans to find more ways to get the funds you need.

Frequently asked questions

Our answers to more questions asked about Intuit TurboTax.

Does it cost anything to use the Credit Karma 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. However, thirty-party fees may apply if you use an out-of-network ATM.

Does TurboTax offer free tax preparation services?

Yes, you might be able to file your taxes for free with Intuit TurboTax if you have a simple tax return Form 1040 without schedules 1, 2 or 3.

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February 03, 2023

What are the fees for transferring a balance with the refund advance


annefrialde Finder

February 03, 2023

Hi Dorraine,

Thanks for your question.

The TurboTax refund advance does not charge any interest on your refund advance, but you might need to pay a tax preparation fee to file. However, you don’t have to pay the said fee up front. Instead, you can have it taken out of your refund after the IRS processes it.

You may also contact their customer support phone number 1-800-4INTUIT (1-800-446-8848).

I hope this helps.



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