Options for cashing your tax refund check are plentiful. In a large city, banks, retailers and check-cashing stores are all within a short distance of one another. In a small town, your options are more limited. No matter where you are, before you hand over your check for cash, know all of your options so you can keep more of your refund for yourself and use less of it on service fees.
If you hold an account at a financial institution, such as a bank or credit union, you can cash your tax refund check there and avoid fees. If you don't have a bank account, some banks will cash a U.S. Treasury tax refund check for you, but they are not required to do so and will likely charge you a service fee. You must provide valid identification in order to cash the check.
Major retailers, such as Walmart, cash tax refund checks. Some 7-Eleven convenience store locations also offer check-cashing services. Another option is to check with your local grocery retailer, which might offer tax return check cashing services.
Check-cashing stores specialize in cashing checks for customers. Expect to pay a higher service fee if you choose a check-cashing store. Fees are based on a percentage of the face value of the check or a percentage fee plus a flat fee. For example, if you cash a $3,000 check at a store that charges a 1 percent fee -- which equals $30 -- and a flat fee of $8, you would pay $38 to cash the check.
To avoid paying exorbitant fees, research your options first. If you have a bank account, the bank should cash your tax refund check for free. However, if you don't have a bank account, a bank may not be the best option, depending on its fee schedule for cashing checks for non-customers. Compare fees between major retailers and check-cashing stores.
Based in Texas, Cynthia Measom has been writing various parenting, business and finance and education articles since 2011. Her articles have appeared on websites such as The Bump and Motley Fool. Measom received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin.