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Minn. tax agency halts move to debit cards for now

Minnesota Department of Revenue
Minnesota Department of Revenue

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- The Minnesota Department of Revenue is choosing paper over plastic when it comes to tax refunds.

The state tax agency confirmed Wednesday it is delaying a conversion from paper refund checks to preloaded debit cards for now. An official cited concerns over data security and a decision to focus on promoting direct-deposit refunds instead.

Minnesota lawmakers last spring granted the department permission to move to debit-card refunds.

Deputy Revenue Commissioner Matt Massman tells The Associated Press that the agency needs complete consumer confidence to get them to buy into a new system. He says officials will reevaluate the debit-card program later this year.

The department is aggressively pushing to have refunds directly deposited in bank accounts, an option available since 1997 and used by three-quarters of filers.

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