Cardholder Frequently Asked Questions
South Carolina Department of Revenue Income Tax Refund Prepaid Debit Card Program Overview
The South Carolina Department of Revenue (SCDOR) offers taxpayers a convenient option for personal income tax refunds with prepaid debit cards. Taxpayers also have the option to deposit directly to their bank accounts.
Prepaid debit cards deliver value to cardholders and save government agencies – and taxpayers – money.
For any questions regarding your income tax refund amounts, please contact the SC Department of Revenue.
How does a Prepaid Debit Card work?
The SCDOR Income Tax Refund Prepaid Debit Cards are Visa Debit Cards issued by Bank of America on behalf of the South Carolina Department of Revenue. The SCDOR will automatically deposit your tax refund directly to your card account. You do not need a traditional bank account, and there is no credit check or minimum balance requirement. With your prepaid debit card, you do not have to pay a check-cashing fee and there are no monthly fees.
Prepaid Debit Card accounts are FDIC-insured and protected by Bank of America’s zero liability protection. If your prepaid debit card is lost or stolen, Bank of America will reimburse you for any unauthorized transactions, subject to certain terms and conditions set forth in the South Carolina Department of Revenue Income Tax Refund Prepaid Debit Card Deposit Agreement you receive with your debit card.
Once you receive and activate your card, you can use your prepaid debit card like any other debit card. You can use it to make purchases, pay bills, and get cash back at any store or vendor that accepts a Visa Debit Card. You can also make ATM withdrawals or request a teller cash withdrawal from any bank or credit union that accepts Visa cards. Fees can be avoided by using your card to make purchases and get cash back at merchants and by using Bank of America ATMs. If you use other banks’ ATMs, you will be charged a fee. See the Fee Schedule section for a complete listing of fees.
Prepaid Debit Card Benefits
Convenience and Flexibility for Taxpayers
The prepaid debit card is a particularly useful option for taxpayers that don’t have traditional bank accounts. The cards are more secure, easy-to-use, and provide many options for making withdrawals and purchases.
Benefits of the prepaid debit card include:
- No more check-cashing fees, for those who do not have bank accounts
- Use your card anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted – retail purchases, online purchases, purchases over the phone or paying bills
- Get access to cash at ATMs, retailers, and at any bank or credit union that accepts Visa
- Free access to your money at Bank of America ATMs
- Improves control over money – take only what you need, when you need it
- Account information and customer service – available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Cardholders have free access to thousands of Bank of America ATMs in South Carolina, neighboring states, and nationwide. An online ATM-finder is available at www.bankofamerica.com/screfund. Information about ATM locations is also available from the Bank of America Customer Service Center at 1.866.472.4959, 1.866.656.5913 (TTY), or 423.262.1650 (collect, when calling outside the U.S.).
General Prepaid Card Program Information
Here’s how the prepaid debit card will work:
- Once SCDOR determines a taxpayer’s refund, it will transfer that amount to Bank of America on behalf of the taxpayer.
- Bank of America will then create an account in the taxpayer’s name in the amount of the refund and issue a prepaid debit card to the taxpayer.
- The taxpayer needs to activate the card and create a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to use the card and perform any type of transaction. For more information on activation and PIN see section How to Activate Your Prepaid Debit Card below.
- The taxpayer can then use the card to make purchases or withdrawals until the funds are exhausted.
The taxpayer can’t make personal deposits to the account. SCDOR will not reuse the card and the cardholder may destroy it once funds are exhausted. This is not a credit card and the cardholder cannot overdraft funds.
For any questions regarding your South Carolina Income Tax refund amount, please contact the SCDOR at 803.898.5000 or dor.sc.gov.
Keeping your information private is one of our most important responsibilities. The SCDOR has provided us with limited personal information in order to establish your prepaid debit card account, mail the card to your attention and to be able to verify your identity as the account owner when you call or go online for account information. Visit the Terms & Conditions for an explanation of how the Bank manages your information related to this prepaid card program.
How to Activate Your Prepaid Debit Card
Activation of the card is simple and more secure.
Taxpayers will receive their card in the mail which will include instructions on how to activate and use it. Upon receipt of the card, taxpayers should immediately visit the Customer Service Center website at www.bankofamerica.com/screfund, or call the toll-free number, 1.866.472.4959, 1.866.656.5913 (TTY), or 423.262.1650 (collect, when calling outside the U.S.), to activate the card. Once activated, the taxpayer may use the card.
- For security reasons, the taxpayer will need:
- the 16-digit number that appears on the face of the card
- the three digit security code on the back of the card
- the last four digits of their social security number
- During the activation process, the taxpayer will be asked to create a Personal Identification Number (PIN). The PIN can be used to make ATM withdrawals and purchases.
- Once the card is activated, the taxpayer will be given the account balance and may begin using the card immediately.
Joint Filer Information
- Spouses filing a married filing joint return will receive two separate prepaid debit cards in one envelope.
- The cards will be issued in the name of the taxpayers as listed on their South Carolina income tax return.
- Each taxpayer must activate his or her own card. The activation process will require the taxpayer to create his or her own PIN prior to usage.
- Because the prepaid debit card account is a joint account, each card provides access to the entire amount of the refund. As is the case with paper checks, disputes regarding who accesses the funds are not the responsibility of SCDOR.
How to Use Your Prepaid Debit Card
The card may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. Always know your balance before performing a transaction. See the Balance Inquiries section below for more information on balance inquiries.
To conduct purchases with a signature:
- Present or swipe the debit card
- Choose “credit”
- Sign, take the debit card and receipt
To conduct purchases with a PIN:
- Swipe the debit card
- Choose “debit” and enter the PIN
- Many grocery stores, convenience stores, and U.S. post offices offer cash back without a fee.
- For cash, select the amount and it will be added to the purchase total.
- Take the debit card, cash and receipt.
By using the card to pay bills online or over the phone, taxpayers can avoid costly fees charged by check cashers and others.
Once the card is activated, cardholders may check the balance on their cards and review transaction activity 24 hours a day at www.bankofamerica.com/screfund. Cardholders may also call the Customer Service Center at 1.866.472.4959, 1.866.656.5913 (TTY), or 423.262.1650 (collect, when calling outside the U.S.) for automated information for balance and recent transactions. Cardholders can also use any ATM to check the current balance on their card.
In order to make ATM withdrawals, taxpayers must have activated the card and created a PIN.
The amount that can be withdrawn from an ATM depends on limits set by the ATM owner. Some owners impose limits on how much can be withdrawn in a single transaction or in a day.
There is no fee for withdrawals from ATMs owned by Bank of America in South Carolina and nationwide.
- Bank of America’s website www.bankofamerica.com/screfund includes a link to an ATM locator.
For withdrawals from ATMs that aren’t owned by Bank of America, please refer to the Fee Schedule. There may also be an additional charge by the owner of the ATM. Cardholders are notified of fees prior to the completion of the transaction and may cancel the transaction to avoid fees.
Taxpayers who choose to obtain cash with your card will be able to do so by visiting any bank that is in the Visa bank network. Visa banks that accept Visa cards will display the Visa logo on and around their offices. Before visiting your bank to request a withdrawal, make sure your card is activated and know your card balance. Taxpayers can make one free withdrawal at any Visa member bank.
Online Funds Transfers
In order to transfer funds from your card account to a traditional checking or savings account owned by you in the United States, you may perform an Online Funds Transfer via the Customer Service website at www.bankofamerica.com/screfund.
You will need to register a “transfer-to” account prior to performing your first transfer. Once your “transfer to” account is authenticated (this can take up to 5 business days), your transfer will be made. Once your transfer is made, it can take up to 2 business days to receive your funds in your account, and the transfer cannot be canceled once entered. If your account is a Bank of America account the funds could be available the next business day, if not sooner. Once funds are transferred to your checking or savings account, you will not be able to have the funds returned to you if the routing number or account number you provide for your checking or savings account is not correct.
A minimum value of $20.00 may be transferred. To begin this process you will simply sign on to the website and select the “Transfer funds” link within your online Account Summary page.
You may contact the Bank of America Customer Service Center to close your account and request a check for the remaining balance. An account closure check issuance fee of $5.00 applies to all such requests. Checks are typically issued within 7 to 14 days.
All card maintenance activities should be directed to the Customer Service Center at 1.866.472.4959. If the post office is unable to deliver a card, it will be returned to Bank of America. Contact the Bank of America Customer Service Center to change your address and request a card to the new address.
If you change your address on the SCDOR Income Tax Prepaid Debit Card account, you should also contact the SCDOR at 803.898.5000 or dor.sc.gov to download and complete the address change form SC8822. The form can be found on SCDOR’s website under Forms and Instructions, Business Registration section.
If you received a card directly from your sponsor that did not have your name on it, you may be eligible to receive a personalized upgrade card in the mail after a pre-determined number of deposits or calendar days. If you receive a personalized upgrade card in the mail, please activate the card immediately. You will have 30 days from the date of issuance to activate your new card. Once activated, your current balance will transfer to the new card and your old card will become inactive
Access to Low Balances in Your Prepaid Debit Card Account
Because most ATMs dispense money in the form of $20 bills, if the balance on a card falls below that amount, you won’t be able to use an ATM to access all funds to the dollar and cents level in your card account. The balance can be fully accessed by:
- determining the balance and using the card to make a purchase in that amount; or
- using the card to make a partial payment, and using a secondary means for the remaining purchase amount as you would do with a retailer’s gift certificate; or
- making a final withdrawal at any bank or credit union that accepts Visa.
Be careful in using your card at such establishments as they may put a hold on your card:
Gas Stations: Paying at the pump may cause a hold of up to $100; consider paying inside, saying how much you want to purchase and signing the receipt, doing so avoids the hold.
Restaurants: Restaurants may verify you have enough in your account for the bill. Make sure you have enough funds to cover any added tip.
Hotels: The hotel may hold the amount of your estimated bill, making that amount unavailable for other purchases. When you check out, the hold may take a few days to be removed.
Auto Rentals: You may use your card for final payment for a rental car, but a credit card may be necessary to reserve a rental car.
Returns: Store return policies may vary. You may receive a credit to your account, or a store credit. A credit to your account may take a week to process before funds are available for use.
Lost or Stolen Cards
If a card is lost or stolen, you need to contact the Customer Service Center to request a replacement. If the card has been used, the bank will issue the replacement card in the amount of the remaining balance.
The Bank of America “Zero Liability” Policy protects the taxpayer against fraudulent transactions if a card is lost or stolen (subject to certain conditions). If the card is lost or used without taxpayer permission contact the Customer Service Center at 1.866.472.4959 as soon as possible to report the card lost or stolen, report any unauthorized transactions and begin the error resolution or dispute process.
The Cardholder Agreement received with the card provides specific instructions on the dispute process and the time frames that apply to the Bank of America “Zero Liability” Policy.
Your card expires 12 months from the issuance of your card and this expiration date is shown on the front of your card. If a balance remains on your card after expiration, you may contact the Customer Service Center and we will send you a check for the remaining balance less the Account Closure Check Issuance Fee. After a period of time as defined by state law, unclaimed balances will be reported and remitted as unclaimed property to the appropriate state.