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I wrote, If you have your income tax return direct deposited, you appear to be safe. For now.

To which you replied, That statement is just plain troublemaking nonsense.

Trouble-making? Probably.

But nonsense? Really? You think the Treasury Department wouldn't cut a deal with a debit card issuer if it saved themselves money? That's what I discovered my state's unemployment commission did when I applied for unemployment benefits back in 2008. Sure, I got one free withdrawal - but I had to go to an issuer's branch to convert it to cash ... and wait 30mins each time while an account manager tried to sell me bank services I didn't want.

My guess is that in a year or two, after the pilot program ends, debit cards will become mandatory for anyone that does not provide account information for a direct deposit. If they forced everyone to accept a prepaid Visa debit center - and they negotiated a good deal - I'm sure they could get the issuer to pay the Treasury Department a rebate on each refund.

- Joel
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