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What is the Form 8888?

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Form 8888Form 8888 is titled the Allocation of Refund (Including Savings Bond Purchases) and is the from you use to indicate how you want your refund paid out to you. The form itself is very straightforward, there is a section for direct deposit, one for US Series I Savings Bonds, and one for the paper check. The purpose of the form is for you to tell the IRS how you’d like your tax overpayment.

Direct Deposit

I recommend using direct deposit whenever you can. The IRS has gotten savvy and now give you the option to send your refund to up to three separate accounts. Several years ago, it was a big deal when they let you direct deposit into two accounts! However you decide to do it, make sure you key in the proper routing and account number, which can be found on your checks, or your refund can be delayed. Direct depositing your refund is the fastest way to get your refund without paying any additional fees.

Buying Series I Paper Bonds

In addition to specifying which bank(s) to send your tax refund, Form 8888 can also be used to purchase up to $5,000 in Series I paper savings bonds across at most three savings bonds. This purchase does not count towards your annual limit of $10,000 in Series I Savings Bonds. The value of each bond has to be in increments of $50. If you don’t enter it in increments of $50 then they won’t be able to process the request and you’ll get your refund as a check. If you enter more than one name under 5b, 5c, 6b, 6c (where they only want one name), they won’t process it and will issue your refund as a check. Finally, if there’s a math error and your refund is decreased, they’ll issue a check instead.

Paper Check

A paper check is the slowest way to get paid but if you don’t have a bank account and don’t want savings bonds, a paper check is your only other option.

If you complete your return with tax preparation software, you won’t have to fill out this form. If you opt to do things by hand, the Form 8888 is the best and only way to split up your refund into numerous places.

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