Virginia will begin to issue tax refunds via debit card or direct deposit only starting with refunds issued in 2013 for the 2012 tax year. Virginia is making the change in hopes of saving money by reducing check printing and mailing costs. The switch to debit cards will be more secure than mailing a check since it will be protected by federal and state banking laws. It can also only by activated by using the holder’s personal information (SSN and DOB). Direct deposit will still remain the fastest way to receive a tax refund so make sure you verify your account information with your tax preparer. For more information check out the FAQs on the VA Department of Taxation’s website: http://www.tax.virginia.gov/site.cfm?alias=refunddebitcardfaq.